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Junction Jones and the Corduroy Conspiracy #1 ADVANCE REVIEW: a dark, silly start to a noir mystery

Script/Letters: TC Pescatore, Art: Locogonzales.

Scout Comics' Junction Jones and the Corduroy Conspiracy #1 is a noir narrative layered intricately within a detailed cyber-dystopian world. Private Investigator Jones and his companion, Niblet, are the stars of a mystery that revels in its genre-meshing, and places much of its focus on visual storytelling. Personally, this title lands in an otherworldly triumvirate of influences; in equal amounts of Blade Runner, Akira, and Borderlands (the video games), this title boasts a silliness yet tragic bleakness that keeps your eyes anticipating every turn of the page. Junction Jones and the Corduroy Conspiracy #1 is a slog at times but by the end of this issue I was eager for more.

Our protagonists are out-of-their-depth investigators who come across decomposing bodies with such casual flair, it's hard not to imagine the hundreds of previous adventures we haven't seen that could lead to such absurd jadedness. The writing is tight and character-focused, as casual dialogue often reveals a lot about characters and the surrounding world. I'm a huge fan of this. Relationship dynamics are made to feel worn-in and this endears you to our "heroes" from the get-go, while establishing a foundation for us as readers to build on moving forward. There are pages where I feel the dialogue becomes page pollution, distracting from the stellar visuals with what feels like unnecessary dialogue. These rare instances seem intent on building to "big" moments that ultimately don't feel as if they needed building. This leaves these heavily worded pages feeling empty.

The visuals are what set this title apart in originality — at least to me. Every panel houses interesting lines and details that help build a visually unique world. Junction Town is futuristic but bleak, frayed wires and erratic lines creating a messy world. This works with our messier detectives, who manage to stumble through this first issue in an entertaining blur of chaos. The use of a strictly black and white color palette puts all these chaotic lines and obtuse geometries in stark relief, creating a crisp visual spectacle with every panel.

Scout Comics has a winner in Junction Jones and the Corduroy Conspiracy #1. Aside from some polluting dialogue that skews the pace a bit, this introductory issue promises an intriguing mystery that warrants at least one more issue — if only to find out what part of this conspiracy has to do with corduroy.

Junction Jones and the Corduroy Conspiracy #1 earns 4 outta 5 POPs!!!

Be sure to pick it up when it releases on February 22, 2023, or preorder from Scout Comics or your LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE!!!!


If you find yourself loving the adventures of P.I. Jones (and Nibs), then I can almost guarantee you'll love The Boxcar Bop, a tale of interdimensional hobos who travel to the vast and varied reaches of human experience.


Austin Kemp read Batman #315 (Batman vs Kite Man) when he was 5 years old, and hasn't stopped reading comics since. Austin is a college writing teacher and has a masters degree in Comics Studies. Austin and his partner, Savanah, live in Massachusetts with their master, a cat named Chaplin.

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