B.A.D.A.S.S. (#1) – Adrian Nelson

3 out of 5

Yeah, you can cringe over the title, but I like how sillily over the top it is, and it’s acronym – Bureau of Alien Detection and Supernatural Sightings – actually… makes sense! So: points. Adrian Nelson also interests us right away with the first few pages of his book, as a bedridden soldier gets a mind-recorded video review of a “walking plague” infestation that put him in bandages and laid waste to his crew – instead of trying to wow us with visuals and verbiage to convince us of whatever alternate sci-fi world we’re in, it’s a rather human scene, with the weirdness coming to light via background details and casual mentions. Nelson’s chunky, Ryan Ottley-esuqe linework is solid, and confident, and his spot colors effectively shake up the B & W art, as opposed to just coming across as a “cool” affectation.

The focus, unfortunately, falls apart during the course of the book. First, some superhuman protector is introduced via this mind-footage (Ci-Ci), and so you think she’ll be the focus, with this soldier perhaps our POV character, but then it turns out there’s another super-soldier in the mix who’s being trained to work alongside Ci-Ci, and the action sequence that brings him in – after confusingly showing him in different clothes in a splash page than in the outfit which he’s wearing in the pages following – seems to suggest that he’ll be the focus, but then Nelson also gives a lot of time to some alien type who’s training this other super-soldier, until some last page attempts at setting up some cliffhangery concepts…

It’s too much too soon. The solid art and quality intro are enough to merit interest to see if things shape up after all the introductions are done, but at this point – this issue came out in November 2019; it’s currently September 2020 – I haven’t seen any further issues, so maybe I won’t get the chance. The sad fate of a lot of indie books.