Karmen is the story of Catalina, a recent suicide, who is taken under the wing of the strange and quirky angel, Karmen, on a journey of discovery and reflection.
Karmen #1 is written and illustrated by Guillem March and is published by Image Comics. Karmen is the story of Catalina, a recent suicide victim who has been taken under the wings of a strange, yet quirky angel named Karmen who takes Catalina on a journey of self-discovery and reflection. Right off the bat, I want to say that this issue exceeded any and all of my personal expectations. I went into this book just looking for a good read and was given more than just a good story with amazing art.
The story is touching and while it presents the ethereal and a spiritual awakening of sorts, the subtle humor from both our protagonists has made this duo a duo worth keeping up with. As I mentioned above, Karmen is a story that focuses on a young woman named Catalina and her suicide. Why Catalina has decided to take her own life has yet to be revealed but it is subtly hinted at that her relationship with her friend Xisco has played a factor in her suicide.
Catalina meets Karmen right as she commits suicide. Based on the way Karmen is designed and illustrated, a tall, pale-skinned, pink-haired, skeletal clothed woman, one would immediately think that Karmen is actually a female version of the Grim Reaper but that’s not the case in this story even if Catalina sees her that way at first.
The transition into the afterlife for Catalina is a nice twist on what many of us are taught to be quite the opposite when it comes to suicide. For those who follow religion, anyone who commits suicide is looked at differently in the eyes of the religious and are condemned to hell. In Karmen though, although presented as a Grim Reaper-esque figure, Karmen is an angel, a sweet and quirky angel who approaches Catalina to guide her on said journey of discovery and redemption.
A good portion of this issue is spent showcasing Catalina and Karmen’s newly found “friendship” as Catalina comes to grips with the transition into the afterlife. I did, however, wanted the story to shed more light on the relationship between Catalina and Xisco a bit more and see what lead Catalina to commit suicide. We know that Xisco’s girlfriend at some point had an issue with his and Catalina’s relationship, as well as Catalina’s roommate whose relationship with her wasn’t all that great as well.
And I know, we’ll get this a bit more later as the story continues but if there was anything that I needed from this first issue was probably a longer page count to give us a bit more story and that’s all due to me being fully immersed in this world and wanting to thoroughly follow Catalina’s new journey. But patience is golden.
Overall, Guillem March delivers on all facets in this first issue of Karmen. From the eye-catching illustrations of the ethereal dreamworld which is highly reminiscent of Steve Ditko’s Doctor Strange comics to delivering a new perspective on what dreams can mean and should mean and how we as humans interpret said dreams, we experience during our mental escape once we lay ourselves down to sleep. It’s truly captivating.
Even down to our main characters Karmen and Catalina. Each person feels like their own person and their chemistry is admirable and I cannot wait to embark on this journey with them once again and follow it all through to the end.
Karmen #1 is available right now at your local comic book shop and digital comic book apps. If you’re looking for something new and different this book is it and I recommend you add it to your pull list.
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