By Nolan P. Smith
My favorite kind of stories are ones with the protagonist and supporting cast that I can relate to in some way. Maybe it’s their sense of humor or quirky nature, but most of the time, it is their humanity. Frank Gogol created Dead End Kids last year, an incredible three-issue series that dripped of human nature and the flaws we all possess. Well, he’s back with a new book from Source Point Press, and this time- there are No Heroines.
Written by Gogol with art by Criss Madd, Shawna Madd, and covers by Ahmed Raafat and Ben Templesmith, No Heroine is a story about addiction, vampires, and crappy people- sounds like real life already. Our lead of this story is Kayla Strong, a young woman trying to get clean and who has also made some pretty crappy life choices so far. She’s let her family down, which leaves her on the streets and looking for her boyfriend and only friend, Sid. After a fight over money, Sid ran out, leaving Kayla to scurry the streets in hopes of finding Sid in good shape. When she learns he might have fallen with a gang of drug dealing vamps, she goes looking for trouble and dives right into the fire.
It puts Kayla right into the action as she dispatches vamps with no mercy and no filter on her mouth. It leads her on a collision course to find out Sid’s fate, and it might not be a fate she is ready to accept. Behind the vampires and action, it’s a story of a damaged individual. One who is trying to come to terms with what she has done and the results are sobering. We learn about her past from flashbacks and conversations, enough to know that she is indeed, no heroine. But she’s trying. That’s all we can do. Try to do better; try to make things right. Try to find a purpose.
Madd’s artwork is killer, pun intended. The design work, the action scenes, the death scenes- it’s all so epically done. Gogol has crafted a tale of someone I want to root for, even though Kayla isn’t even sure where her path goes from here. Vampire stories are, for the most part, incredible in my eyes, and No Heroine is absolutely incredible. Yet it’s the humanity, the journey of Kayla’s redemption, that really has me hooked. No Heroine #1 has action, a great story, and zero sparkling vampires: that’s a win-win no matter how you look at it. Make sure to contact your local comic book shop and reserve yours today!
Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
Nolan P. Smith is the Editor and Co-Founder of Pastrami Nation. Being a reporter for the past ten years, he has worked for a variety of media outlets, from newsprint to the ever-evolving internet platform. Residing in Victorville, CA, writing has always been a significant aspect of his life. A reporter, teacher, public relations specialist, and more, he takes the most joy out of covering the world of pop culture. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter @nolanpsmith, and Instagram @kakooee.