Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Kitchen #1 Review

Written by: Ollie Masters
Art by: Ming Doyle
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 12, 2014

Sharpen Your Teeth

For the longest time, comic books were predominately representative of males--recently that has been changing. Marvel comics recently launched a new Thor series, that follows a female God of Thunder; DC Comics has placed their female heroes in the spotlight, and now it's Vertigo's turn. Vertigo is an imprint of DC Comics, but it's the imprint where they do their grittiest work. From Neill Gaiman's Sandman to Scott Snyder's American Vampire; From Preacher to Hellblazer, Vertigo is where DC Comics publishes the books you don't want to show to your kids, and The Kitchen #1 is no exception to that rule. 

In the past, Vertigo titles have been predominantly DC books all grown up, following the adventures of John Constantine and Swap Thing, giving a window into a world full of the paranormal and unreal. The Kitchen is unlike that. Set in Hell's Kitchen, New York in the 1970's, The Kitchen tells the story of three Irish-American women who find themselves in a unique position after their mob-connected husbands are all sent to jail. 

The leader of the girls is a woman named Kathy, who is quickly shown to be the most ruthless and impulsive, seeing it as her job to serve in her husband's place. From the moment he's locked up she's out on the street collecting protection money, while Angie and Raven are not. After a little coaxing she gets both of them out on the street, aiding in her endeavor. 

This eight issue miniseries isn't a feel-good tale by any means. Written by Ollie Masters, brutality rules as the girls go to collect their money, and while a little wordy, a decent amount of backstory is given, helping to set up perfectly for the next 7 issues. 

The art for the book is drawn and inked by Ming Doyle, who likes to do her work completely digitally. From reference photos exchanged amongst everyone on the team, she managed to draw a gritty portrayal of 1970's Hell's Kitchen without crossing over into the land of the absurd.If anything, the series is set in a world that looks and feels like it wouldn't be out of place in a Frank Miller story. Jordie Bellaire proved the colors for the issue, choosing a scheme that compliments Doyle's art in a lot of ways. I was particularly drawn into her coloring, considering I've loved her work on Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and Pretty Deadly, just to name a few books.  

Bits and Pieces 

The Kitchen #1 is a dark and gritty crime comic put together by a fantastic team. The book is littered with violence and foul language so I wouldn't suggest picking up this one for the kids. If mob-based crime is your type of story, or you enjoy books with a strong female protagonist, this is one book I can definitely recommend picking up. 



  1. I just finished reading it and I'm hooked already. It's such a simple yet interesting concept.

    1. Absolutely. Something tells me this is a series I'll definitely want to pick up the trade of when it comes out, just to have the physical story to share with others. There's actually a few people I'm suggesting it to.