With striking and crisp visuals, The Legend of Yukmouth #1 is a bold new issue is filled with ominous atmosphere and chilling moments. Like the movie Belly, it masters the visual elements of emotions — intimidation, confidence, determination — and codifies it into sequential art.
A mysterious and powerful man rolls up on the storefront of Olivia, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant and psychic medium, on a rainy, gloomy night. He's there for answers, and his reputation precedes him. B. Van Randall gives every line of dialogue weight and intent as Olivia struggles with her fear, and the man called Yukmouth, and he wearily puts one foot in front of another. Likewise, the cinematic and gorgeously stark artwork of Jarel Threat and Dave Lentz give this a noirish feel to match its supernatural edge.
If the name "Yukmouth" is familiar, it might be from the 1990s group the Luniz, most famous for their song "I Got 5 On It," most recently immortalized in the Jordan Peele horror film Us. Now, the idea of a serene immortal stepping out of the back of a Bentley is a long way from the guy who said, "I got some bucks on it, but it ain't enough on it." There is no clear-cut connection between the two, but when you look back at that gorgeous but stillborn Nine Rings of Wu-Tangcomic book, it was as far from Staten Island as this is from Oakland in the 1990s. That isn't a bad thing, but clearly, a thing that causes some cognitive dissonance for anyone who read the solicitations text.
Ultimately, though, it's the lack of actual story content that keeps this from achieving greatness. Too little happens to justify the purchase price, and by the end of the issue, you've learned some things about the title character, but not enough to give you a grounding in what's going on. It feels good, but it doesn't connect in the final analysis, which is a shame because it has so much good stuff happening here. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
All he ever wanted was for Osiris to open the doors to the afterlife. He has been wanting that for over 3,000 years. Inspired by the Grammy-nominated west coast rap artist Yukmouth (1/2 of the hip hop duo The Luniz).
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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