Comic Review: Olivia Twist #1 (Dark Horse)

In a twist, obviously, it’s Olivia Twist #1, from Dark Horse. This first issue is intended to set up the characters in exchange for our ‘tuppence’, or else we’ll feel, […]

In a twist, obviously, it’s Olivia Twist #1, from Dark Horse.

This first issue is intended to set up the characters in exchange for our ‘tuppence’, or else we’ll feel, well, as if our pockets have been picked!

In this Berger Book (greenlit by Karen Berger), Olivia is obviously female. Instead of industrial London, our characters are living in a camp for foreigners. Perhaps it’s today. Perhaps it IS London. So, a foreign mother becomes pregnant in camp and dies trying to flee the “Temporary Facility for Dislocated Individuals”.

Pages later and years later, at the Margate Factory, a boy orphan is working. He is defended by Olivia, who abruptly appears, and then soon turns 18, leaves the workhouse and joins a teen gang. Seriously.

As you can see, I was puzzled by this story. It’s a mix of references to the olde Oliver Twist story, with its established characters. But this comes across awkwardly as if it is ‘tacked on’ to the original story of dystopian survival in youth work camps. There is a lot of running around, but what is getting done? Unfortunately, this is a plot that needs to be thickened, edited to remove any artificial additives, and the recipe reviewed before its Christmas goose is cooked.

Writer is Darin Strauss, artist is Emma Vieceli. The art is capable enough of carrying the story, but the colour is strangely subdued throughout. I get that it’s a story of oppression and encampment, but the occasional glimpse of saturated colour is not enough.

Dark Horse, Olivia Twist #1 of 4, $4.99 for 30 pages of content. Not rated, assume Teen

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!