- Bigs & Tiny #2
- Black Box Comics
- Written by Ramel Hill
- Art by Federico Sabbatini
- Colors by Andrea Celestini
- Letters by Ed Dukeshire
- Creator/Editor, Dimitrios Zaharakis
- Available this August
A comedic duo, on the hunt for answers to their newfound super powers, unravel the mystery of a seedy underworld of criminal activity in the heart of New York.
People are being grabbed off the streets of New York, never to be seen or heard from again. The only people to escape these abductions so far have been Bryan & his new ally Santino. These two unlikely partners are following in the footsteps of giants (Riggs & Murtaugh, Tango & Cash, Jordan & Queen), very different people brought together to fight the forces of evil, kick their asses & then leave them in embarrassing positions to be found by the police. Their efforts are aided by the strange powers they’ve discovered. Bryan has enhanced strength, is able to focus energy into his hands, and is big. Santino can shrink, and has discovered that the smaller he goes the stronger he gets.
What neither our two young heroes nor the police have been able to figure out is just how deep the conspiracy behind these disappearances goes, and how twisted its goals may be. Pieris Industries has targeted 100 subjects for testing, and they’ve been able to recover 63 so far. Much to their chagrin, subjects 16 & 74 (aka: Bryan & Santino) have continued to elude their efforts at capture. Who is behind Pieris Industries, how are their unsuspecting test subjects chosen, and to what nefarious purpose? None of these hard hitting questions are going to be answered until at least the third issue.
Ramel Hill’s title characters, the affable odd couple of Bigs & Tiny are going to need to develop a bit more depth if they’re going to find their stride. I will give Hill credit where it’s due, because even though the majority of the dialogue between these two is spent taking potshots are their relative heights or lack of, he manages to hit all of the marks without repeating descriptive insults. The banter is entertaining enough, and has been fine as an introduction for the first two issues, but eventually we’re going to need a little bit more from Bryan & Santino. What’s been kinda cool in Hill’s story so far is that he’s not sticking to a single, or even two perspectives in his narrative. We’ve also been introduced to hard working NYPD Detectives Nolan Kelly & Olivia Silva, whose investigation into these mysterious disappearances has been thrown a curveball with the addition of the new super-powered players. Finally there’s the shadowy executive board of Pieris Industries, their dark deeds hidden behind the shelter of a respectable business and their true motivations obviously more sinister than the average corporate executive board.
As far as the appearance of Bigs & Tiny goes, the team of Federico Sabbatini and Andrea Celestini have crafted a dynamic look that catches the pop and flash of the beat downs we’ve seen so far. Sabbatini’s character designs are just stylized enough to let them stand out, and his action panels move FAST. With colors added by Celestini, the overall effect is anything but dull. Celestini does a really good job using subtly different palettes to differentiate the environments… in particular, I’m a fan of the slightly blue/green tint to everything in the shadowy boardroom of Pieris. It couldn’t have looked like more of an evil lair if Burgess Meredith’s Penguin had been Hwawawa’ing his way across a wildly tilted floor.
The presence of Ed Dukeshire in Bigs & Tiny is very apparent, likely because I’ve recently read a couple comics that had some pretty abysmal lettering. Not so much about the content in this case, although Dukeshire does a good job with sound effects here and there, but it’s really just about placement. It can be tough to read a book that may otherwise be very good, when the dialogue isn’t set up for easy reading. In some cases, it’s a joint misfire on the part of artists who don’t leave space for the letterer to work, and that of the letterer who doesn’t use the space well. Dukeshire’s work is always, without fail, easily read without any confusion about who’s talking at any given time.
Lettering matters. This is my hill… come and take it.
Action movies, books, & comics have been filled with improbable partners teaming up despite their differences. Sure it’s a trope, but it’s one that works when it’s done right (that’s kinda how tropes get to be tropes… they’re catchy). What remains to be seen is whether or not Black Box, not usually a publisher that does stereotypical superhero stories, and their creative team will find the sweet spot with Bigs & Tiny. Two entertaining issues in, and they’ve got the bones of a really good title to build on.
Final Score: 9/13