It’s a useful story tool when used right: The historical talisman presented to a modern character who uses the power of that talisman to do harm or save the world. We’ve seen it throughout The Librarian, Warehouse 13, Ray Bradbury Theater, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Highlander, Witchblade, Wynonna Earp, The Shannara Chronicles–it’s everywhere, and it’s timeless. Frank Cho uses the same method to drive the story forward in his new five-issue, creator-owned, limited monthly series Skybourne.
Released this month from BOOM! Studios, Skybourne has what every comic book reader could want–Cho created the covers, the interior art, and scripted the story for a brand new action heroine. The title character Grace Skybourne has been compared to James Bond–she has Daniel Craig’s Bond’s lightning reflexes and ability to level a room with her little finger. And she’s an agent every woman wants to be and every man wants to be with. So the Bond comparison rings true. Cho used covers originally intended for DC Comics’s Wonder Woman series for this series, and it may very well be true that Grace Skybourne–and Cho’s series–is the Wonder Woman series we all wish he’d write.
In Issue #1 we meet Grace Skybourne and witness her abilities firsthand as she eliminates one baddie Terminator style and gracefully slips through a cover-to-cover fight scene straight out of John Carpenter’s They Live. And because this is a Frank Cho project–being tough doesn’t mean she can’t be gorgeous and feminine along the way. She’s searching for the story’s MacGuffin: King Arthur’s sword Excalibur. Be prepared for some surprises. Most of her foes take her for granted, but not all. Cho’s choreography of combat and layouts are clean, simple, and as superb as you’d expect. And his humor is back as well. Color work is nicely rendered by Marcio Menyz.
Fans of Marvel’s Avengers’ Black Widow should love this book, as well as fans of Cho’s run on the X-Men: Schism series he created with Jason Aaron. We can only hope it doesn’t end with Issue #5, and can somehow turn up down the road as an action movie. If you want to see how Cho would write Wonder Woman, Black Widow, or Rogue, Scarlet Witch or Jean Grey, this is your book.
Where does Grace Skybourne get her powers? Who does she work for? And just how tough is she? You’ll be back to find out in Issue #2.
Grab a copy of Skybourne, Issue #1, now at your local comic book store. It is expected to be released in a second printing.