Man I have missed reading comics by Mike Baron. Sure, I could raid the long boxes and dig out out everything from Nexus to The Grackle—but new Baron is always welcome in this house. Imagine when the great one offered to send me a review copy of his newest effort, Q-Ball. Signed, yet! Of course I jumped at the chance.
Q-Ball is another outstanding and quirky puzzle piece in the Baron oeuvre. Seems that our title character is a Detroit native named Curtis Ball, a Merchant Marine who wanted to see the world and learn the visually cool arts of Kung Fu and stick fighting, or Escrima. Curtis’s current day job is managing a warehouse in Manila. After an altercation with a potential client without the correct paperwork, Curtis discovers a dead body in the warehouse and is forced to battle some vile gangsters interested in illegal withdrawals from the warehouse stock. This is not something of which Curtis approves, and he is forced to confront the miscreants with staggering violence. Digging further into the situation, Curtis meets, and ends up protecting, Donna Wing, a Chinese national busy exposing human rights abuses by people who don’t want their rocks turned over.
It’s an enticing first issue, setting up an intriguing plot and introducing our players in dramatic ways. The art by Barry McClain Jr. is excellent storytelling, with clear action and gorgeous, flowing martial arts sequences. The last page left me wanting more and I desperately want to find out what happens next, something every good comic should do. No decompressed storytelling here, only the beginning of another epic Bloody Red Baron production. Bring on #2!
Worth the cover price: Unequivocal yes.