Wynonna Earp Volume 1 by Beau Smith

Enjoyment of this graphic novel will likely come down to whether or not you’ve watched the sci fi television series upon which this is based. If you have, you’re invested in the characters and so the extra stories are mindless fun. But for those who didn’t like the series or didn’t watch it, what we have with this graphic novel is a hot mess – poor storytelling, lack of impetus, no world building, overly wordy dialogue boxes, and a whole lot of nothing. Even more egregious, the artwork is all of the place from the use of different artists (and often very, very poor in some places). To say that I was bored reading this was an understatement – I was looking for something more interesting to do with each page turn and hoping someone would paint a wall so I could watch it dry.

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Story: Earp is the badass descendant of Wyatt Earp. She’s employed by the government agency responsible for controlling supernaturals. Although there are likely many different types of supernaturals, in this graphic novel she fights the goat eaters (who inexplicably eat people). After getting coworkers killed, she is given a minder in the form of an Indian amazon. Cue more baddies to fight so she can look super-cool.

Thanks to the popularity of paranormal hunters such as Anita Blake or Jim Butcher, I’m sure Wynonna Earp was resurrected from its mid 1990s run. But I kept wishing for something more – something to distinguish the series as more than just a retread. Earp was a continual barrage of fighting, quipping, boasting, and lots of blood and guts. It was hard to take it seriously after awhile with the constant action and no storytelling. Imagine the wit and winks of Buffy the Vampire Slayer completely stripped away and you get the idea. Writer Beau Smith attempts humor but it’s very painful and very cliched.

Story: Wynonna Earp is a loose canon that the US Marshals Black Badge division needs to contain. Agent Dolls sets Wynonna up with a minder to help ensure that she is successful in her mission to take out the Chupacabra supernaturals. Is Wynona prepared to fight both the baddies and her own Amazonian minder?!?

The level of humor here is to have the supernatural baddies in a standard hick bar all sounding like cultured and pretentious ivy school graduates. But without a raison d’etre, it falls flat and feels overwritten. Similarly, the set up to connect Earp with her new Amazon minder is too unrealistic and over the top to have any semblance of credibility. Pretty much, it’s one excuse after another for fighting in various cliche Western settings.

Several artists were used through the 6 issues collected here – and some are godawful bad. The change in art is also very jarring and ensures the book has absolutely no flow whatsoever. Art and plot skip around all over the place, unfortunately, and never do we get anything more than flip comments and blood/guts.

After the few few pagees, I knew this wasn’t the graphic novel for me. I haven’t seen the series and the series didn’t make me want to do so, either. Perhaps only for fans of the TV series, then. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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