Masterpiece #1 Review: Bendis And Maleev, Back At It Again

Masterpiece #1 review header

In Masterpiece #1 from Dark Horse Comics, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev team up once again for a new crime tale.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

Powered by RedCircle

Masterpiece #1 Review:

Masterpiece is a teen web-comic creator whose parents, it turns out, were the greatest criminals the world has ever seen. And now, a billionaire wants her to steal something they stole from him, back.

Host Alex Zalben called this a “powerhouse team” with Pete LePage saying the issue is “worth it for the art alone… The two of them together, it’s such a nice fit… A hell of a first issue. Love the action, love the pace of it… This is… Really setting a high bar, and they delivered on it.”

Zalben added that there are some “fun twists and turns in the issue that make it like a teen Ocean’s 11.” He also called it a “gorgeous looking book,” and noted that the story felt like Bendis getting “back to his roots in a certain way… Where he started before DC, way before Marvel, back when he was doing these raw, gritty crime books.”

Clarifying, Zalben added this isn’t “nearly as gritty” but “a nice amalgamation of what Bendis has become, which is a family man who really writes for his family, and thinks about his family when he’s writing; and the old crime comics he used to do when he was first starting out.”

And more to the point of the book, he said that it’s a “very clear setup, very clear characters… Another big win for this team.”

Masterpiece #1 Official Synopsis:

From the Eisner award-winning creators behind Daredevil and Scarlet comes an all-new crime comic epic!!

Emma is a brilliant and driven 16-year-old. She has paid for school with her next level inventions and is well-known for her funny and honest webcomics. Then, one day, one of the most famous billionaires on the planet confronts her with the truth about her world. Emma discovers she is the only daughter of two of the greatest, most charismatic master criminals of all time. The suavest, most liked criminals ever. The criminal’s criminal. The ones that wrote the rulebook. There are movies about them starring the biggest movie stars. Her parents were the authors of the greatest casino robbery of all time, the greatest museum heist of all time, AND they took the world’s most famous billionaire for a cool billion… before they disappeared never to be seen or heard from again. Ghosts.  

Zero Preston is the greedy billionaire her parents brilliantly ripped off before they disappeared. He has been looking for payback for years. He finds Emma . . . who clearly does not have his money. Zero threatens Masterpiece into pulling a grand, impossible job against his corporate enemy. This “Master of the Universe” will have his satisfaction.

Masterpiece fashions a crew of her peers and her parents’ old associates to pull off one of the greatest heists of all time.

Among the cast of characters comes the return of the legendary criminal The Paragon.  A Robin Hood for our times. This exquisitely well-dressed, long con master criminal returns to his calling when faced with the truth behind the sinister corporate forces of Zero.

Leave a Reply