The Double Life of Miranda Turner #1
by George Kambadais & Jamie S. Rich
It is great when diving into a new series to see how expectations can be played with simply from the phrasing of that series’ title. With The Double Life of Miranda Turner, readers may assume that the series would deal with Miranda as she exists during the day in plain sight as well as her masked persona. Instead, Jamie Rich has a different angle in mind and it makes for a pretty intriguing hook to the first issue.
Miranda Turner is a costumed crime-fighter who goes by the name The Cat. The series opens with her emerging from a neck-high pile of building blocks. Her colorful foes in this issue are a pair calling themselves The Blockheads, who are able to create and shoot out Lego-like blocks. They are unique villains and it is a fun idea to open with. Interestingly, Miranda is not the narrator. Lindy, her sister, is the one taking readers through this story, and in the middle of the issue readers find out just what Rich actually means by his title.
The first issue accomplishes so many things in subtle ways, maximizing its length to impressive levels. Readers learn about the protagonist and her sister through some pretty natural sounding interactions between the two. While the information offered borders a bit on convenient for the purpose of exposition, Rich is still able to maintain forward momentum so that readers do not feel that they are simply ingesting the history of the world. All the while, George Kambadais surrounds the interactions with incredibly energetic visuals. There are a few uses of exaggeration in some of his panels and it stands out in contrast with much of the rest of the book, but never completely contradicts or betrays the style. Overall, the world looks fun and cartoony. Kambadais’ pencils paired with the coloring choices make this a bright new world.
But all is not bright in the story and there is some serious set up taking place right from the start. The reveal regarding Lindy leaves room for one major arc that could run a good bit of time in the series. The sisters also drop hints about existing superhero teams among other status-quo nods. All of these small elements do a fantastic job of developing without over-informing. Readers will find themselves effectively teased by the many hints. That authentic desire to learn more about the world that Rich creates is a reassuring sign that this is a series to which audiences will return, not simply for a cliff-hanger but for something much more substantial.