Chastity #1-3 (Comics Review)

Dynamite Entertainment has often been about dark adult fantasy, much as with Zenescope Entertainment, though the two publishers have an entirely different focus despite often focusing on the same genres. The recent year and a half has seen Dynamite experimenting quite a bit with female-led comics, with titles like Dejah of Mars making their debut, or others such as Red Sonja getting rebooted with massive promotional clout behind them. Back in July, the publisher launched another female-led title, an urban fantasy horror that saw the protagonist take on vampires, Chastity.

Marc Andreyko came to my notice recently with his run on Batwoman for DC, where he wrote quite a few good issues, the handful that I read at any rate. I kept meaning to go back and get up to date on his run, but that didn’t pan out. And then I heard about his new title Chastity for Dynamite and I got excited, especially after looking at the previous pages. Now with three issues out, I have to say that Chastity has hit most of the right buttons for me and that I am really enjoying the story here. Dave Acosta and Thiago Ribeiro’s artwork hasn’t slouched either, making the title one of the more consistent new titles in recent months.

Chastity 010203Chastity follows a young impressionable girl named Chastity Marks who was once an Olympian in the making but had to suffer crushing disappointment during a training exercise before those dreams could be realized. Resented by her mother, a former competitor herself, for not living up to expectations Chastity eventually found her interests gravitating towards horror fiction, with a focus on vampires. And that’s where the story really kicks off, because when she gets the chance to finally meet her most favourite writer in person, the reality is quite different and it turns out that the writer, Alyce Stonecliff, is a vampire herself, and that she preys upon young impressionable fans. That’s the long and short of it.

With the story itself, I have to say that it is superb. I loved the slow build-up to Chastity’s fascination with vampire fiction, in particular Alyce Stonecliff’s Blood Rose series. You can really get a sense of how she is falling down into an obsession, which just proves how good Marc is at portraying her. The first half of the first issue is also heavy on the emotional aspects of the story, and that was another thing that made me love the first issue. The second and third issues go much more into the action aspects of the story, with Chastity turning into a Vampire herself thanks to Alyce’s careless and cavalier attitude. This is where a larger story begins to unfold because Alyce is apparently on probation or similar by some sort of a council that governs the (secret) Vampire population. She loves to flaunt the rules and that’s where a lot of the character conflict in the third issue comes in.

What Marc does really well here is totally invert Chastity’s world and put her through an emotional wringer like none other. Even as he goes about exploring the larger world that Chastity inhabits, he keeps coming back to her, to really show who she is and who she might become even. Watching her parents and her kid brother get murdered in front of her eyes, while she is herself torn in half by Alyce, that is indeed something. But thankfully Chastity is the kind of girl who doesn’t give up, who bounces back and comes back to deliver a big can of whoop-ass.

That’s what I loved so much about Chastity and its first three issues. Each issue is great and really helps to flesh out the characters and the world.

The pencils here are by Dave Acosta with colours by Thiago Ribeiro and letters by Marshall Dillon. The covers for the series are provided by Emanuella Luppachino and Ivan Nunes. For the most part, I loved the artwork in these issues. Whether we talk Chastity herself, or Alyce or the other monsters that call this title home, the artists do a great job. Sometimes there are panels where body proportions on some of the characters are off, or the linework isn’t as consistent as it could be, but on the whole, this series has pretty rocking art.

Three issues down, many more to go, so bring them on!

Rating: 9/10


Posted on September 14, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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