Review: KIM AND KIM #1


KIM & KIM #1
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Eva Cabrera, Claudia Aguirre, Katy Rex, and Zakk Samm
Published by Black Mask Studios
Release Date: July 6, 2016

Welcome to the interdimensional adventures of Kim Q. and Kim D.!

A bounty is foiled, and two friends traverse space and time to make some bucks. Crossing some familiar and rather unwelcome faces leads them to a bounty with connections to Kim Q.’s irksome father and a potential financial lifeline.

After getting their mark, a last minute scuffle threatens to block the Kims from their goal, but they prove they are not ones to be messed with as they decide to defy forces connected to both of their pasts.

Every part of Kim & Kim #1 feels as though it was handled with care. Both Kim Q. and Kim D. feel fleshed out and distinct in both story and image. From plot elements to artistic choices, this first issue really was an awesome ride. There are enough hints dropped about the characters’ pasts to keep me interested, and the story is visually energetic.

Mags Visaggio’s narrative set up grounds a story that has many moving parts in Kim Q.’s youthful snark. There’s a very serious story underlying much of what she and her partner encounter through the issue, from tenuous romantic desires to angering family histories. This balance keeps the fun at the same pace of the plot losing neither in the process.

Visaggio’s dynamic between the two Kims has a similar effect as the story and its various elements. Kim D. is much more serious and business minded, while Kim Q. is full of youth and mirth. However, what we don’t have is an Odd Couple situation and instead their two personalities play off each other in a manner which enlivens the story and keeps readers invested in the growing plot threads.

Visaggio’s use of Kim Q. as the narrator, as well as the manner in which she reveals she is trans, are reminiscent of the vital importance of creators representing the identities of the characters they write. This simple yet monumental effect speaks to the authenticity that emerges when creators and characters match. I liked knowing more about Kim and her past in a way that felt vital and organic to the story.

This inaugural issue sets the stage to tell a story that addresses trans and queer people in a way that isn’t for the consumption of people outside the community, that casts them as everyday parts of a large universe full of unique characters without diminishing their spark and luster.

Eva Cabrera’s stylistic aesthetic gives the world of Kim & Kim a funky flow. The characters and their environments are fluid and lively, in many sense of both of these words. I appreciate the varied presentation of the characters, approaching many parts of gender representation.

The main characters and others in the background exist in all parts of a spectrum of presentation, showing deliberate care on Cabrera’s part to convey a world that truly is diverse.

Claudia Aguirre’s work on colors touches on intriguing elements of the story. For one, many of the settings within the issue are shown in earthy browns and greys with pops of color. The people all look happy, but everything around them speaks to a world that is futuristic and fun, but perhaps maybe more desolate than things appear.

Aguirre’s work enhances the worldbuilding elements of the story, which makes me that much more curious about the world of Kim & Kim. The use of warm colors for emphasis draws readers to the feelings in each image and imbues life, especially in characters, despite the subdued canvas surrounding them.

The art team’s best work is in the last pages of the issue, illustrating the fight between the Kims and Columbus and Saar. I love a good fight scene, and I like how each of the characters move.

Aguirre’s signature warm hues enhance the excitement within each panel, and with Cabrera’s use of dynamic emphasis and foreground images, these pages pop like Kim Q.’s hot pink locks and the ombre in Kim D.’s hair.

Kim & Kim #1 is an important story for its representation of trans women and women of color, the diversity of its immense world, and for turning science fiction and futuristic storytelling on its head.

The eponymous Kims are forces of nature who express themselves in distinct ways that still form a colorful whole, and the world around them is full of spirited characters who engage in life with a wonderful sense of creativity. If you want a story that is parts representative, fun, ass kicking, and cryptic plot threads, pick up Kim & Kim #1.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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