Writer: Kiwi Smith, Kurt Lustgarten / Artist: Leisha Riddel / BOOM Studios

Time Travel Spice

We got your time travel shenanigans and your modern day hacker coming to your panels in a comedic smash. Smooth Criminals is filled with introverted girl glory and hidden potential. We begin our story with our protagonist, Brenda, on her way to work, talking to herself out loud (drag me). From the jump, I said “oh, so this is going to one of those ‘how will this new character break the protagonist out of their introverted habits'” stories. We’re probably going to get some smart remarks, By the end of the comic, I did a double take. Oh wait, they are going to be real criminals. This got interesting.

Smooth Criminals #1
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Smooth Criminals has an interesting beginning. Though it seems easy to group them with comics of similar story backgrounds, it is fairly easy to relate to the main character from the jump. Many comics try their best to make the protagonist seem as if they have this “high end” potential or no potential at all. I am grateful that Smith and Lustgarten introduced certain quirks and traits from the beginning. It set the tone for what is to come, made it easier to follow.

Jagged Luster

On one hand, the characters were easy to follow and the storyboard makes it easy to digest, but it seemed a bit too predictable. It gives off great laughs, and memorable scenes (the artwork, yes) but there is something missing from it because certain aspects seem predictable. Stumbling on a time machine, accidentally pulling someone through the space-time continuum. Love it, but also there are metaphorical aspects or something special about the protagonist that could add onto how crazy this new turn of events might affect her. The quirkiness is undoubtedly adorable, entertaining and worthwhile. The abilities of the hacker seems as if it is unlimited, with the only blockades being her personality. If there was a way to merge both aspects in future issues instead of feeling like they are separate entities it will make the comic more innovative and alluring.

Smooth Criminals #1
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Artistic Allure

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for colors that pop but are not necessarily bright. The scenery comes together like a really well thought out outfit. The characters color dynamics meld in with their personalities. I thought “Oh this is really Brenda”. Oh, I am able to notice tiny details it doesn’t feel like aspects were forgotten. But Mia? Oh Mia’s design was my favorite. Her style and presence was meant to stand out from the rest and I felt like it disrupted the current comfortable scenery.

7.9 Time Traveling Tubes out of 10

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  • Khadjiah Johnson is a Caribbean-American writer and humor advocate who uses poetry and comedy as a leverage to empathize and uplift. Her work has taken her to Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, Apollo Theater, BET, Off-Broadway and many more! She hopes to use her talents to sway her way into the writers room for a Late Night Comedy Show.

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