Honey West #1 – Bikini Death!

I must admit to having a pretty limited knowledge of Honey West, but I really enjoy the comics that Moonstone produces, so I did a little research, watched a few episodes (hmmm….this was so much fun I’m thinking of getting the DVD Boxset) and got excited to check out Trina Robbins and Cynthia Martin’s take on the character.  Hey, a beautiful P.I. in the swinging sixties?  How can it miss??

I’m happy to say that the book didn’t just live up to my expectations, it surpassed them by a groovy mile and is a really great read from start to finish. When we first meet Honey West she is sitting at her desk in perfect form, literally, and waiting for that next client to stroll through the .  And the first line of their meeting is priceless… click the picture and enjoy.

Honey gets mixed up with a topless chanteuse, dons groovy go-go boots, cheats death by bikini and has time for a catfight and the chance to get her sleuth n’ slink on.  Part 1 of Killer On The Keys: Bikini Death puts a lot of hep cats on the scene and kicks off a mystery I already want to see solved.  Death by Poisoned Bikini Bottoms??  Fah, I could read that all day! 

Honey West #1 pulls off something that I really don’t see all that often. A great #1 that introduces the readers to the character and her world quickly and doesn’t waste a lot of time on useless exposition and reads like you just watched the first part of a great television episode.  The commercial break is going to be too long for me, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 Trina Robbins has a long resume and brings her assured hand to Honey West, making our lead lady able to slip from Bikini Clad cat fights to a lone sane voice in a sea of hippy dippy do righters dropping dead with ease.  Not only does the reader get action, but Honey’s voice is so well written you can’t help but love her as she does what she has to do, even if that means a little extra cage dancing.  Deceptively simple to read, this Honey drips cool all the way through.  And speaking of deceptive, it would be easy to look at Cynthia Martin’s artwork and see a lot of space, but she brings a great visual dimension, and even more personality, to the characters.  Every panel packs a charming nuance to the story and setting,  be it a sour faced Honey in leopard print pants or a flower shop that features as many flowers on the clothing and in hair as on the shelves.

A great debut for a property that has that “this can appeal beyond comics readers” vibe in every page…I loved Honey West #1.  If I have one criticism, it is omitting one detail that drove me a little nuts (hey, I had to find something!).  I know very little about Honey West, and I couldn’t tell you what year this was supposed to be set in, though I could just say :Groove-A-Delico 60s Psychotropica” to some friends as I pass this along.  But even with my research in advance, it took me a few pages to catch exactly “when” we were.  A reader with no clue shouldn’t be left hanging, so a little calender or desk accoutrement with a date would have been excellent.  I want EVERY ONE of you to read this book if possible and not let a little detail in this book trip you up.

I was so happy to find this book in a shop that I snapped a picture!  Honey West #1 is a great read…I hope you can find it and make the jump, this 22 pages should sell you on more.  Actually, you can order directly from Moonstone right AT THIS LINK

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