Flawed #1, by Chuck Brown and Prenzy, delivers an enticingly wild first issue filled with real-world scenarios, brutal violence, and a glimpse at how the judicial system fails the poor and people of color. Flawed takes place in the fictional city of Setham. The story follows Gem Ezz, a psychiatrist who moonlights at night as a vigilante. Her latest client is killed by a serial killer known as “The Skinwalker.” Unfortunately, the police and politicians have done nothing to catch the maniac besides giving him a catchy name. Gem uses her resources to locate the Skinwalker but may end up biting off more than she can chew when she discovers a dangerous secret about him.
Flawed #1 is a quick read and wastes little time getting to why most readers picked up this book in the first place: Gem kicking ass and taking names. But what I like most about issue #1 is that the book says a lot about the judicial system, especially cases that affect African Americans. A clear example of this happens in the first few pages when Angie says, “They gave him a nickname.” ” The bastard murders my child, and all the police do is give him a goddamn nickname. Of course, we see this type of thing regularly, with Hollywood steadily making movies and TV shows about people like Dahmer and Bundy. Unfortunately, people committing the wrongdoing are often glorified more than the victims.
As far as the story’s main protagonist, Gem Ezz, she crushes it as a powerful psychiatrist by day and a badass server of justice at night. Gem feels like The Punisher, The Equalizer, and Pam Grier’s Foxy Brown rolled into one. She’s Batman without the cape and cowl. She even has an assistant named Vee, who helps her with her weaponry and gaining information on criminals.
Like his other phenomenal series, On the Stump, Prenzy brings his in-your-face line work to Flawed. The only difference is the level of violence is turned up a few notches. Prenzy is good at keeping the characters the central focus of each panel and making every page more intense and exciting than the last. Letterer Becca Carey complements his work well with her excellent word placement that connects beautifully with the characters and never distracts from the artwork.
Flawed #1 is an action-packed book with a lot to say. It has some good twists and is worth picking up at your local comic book retailer. Writer Chuck Brown, artist Prenzy, and everyone else who worked on this series has a hit on their hands for sure.
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