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REVIEW: Hardboiled Crime Drama Lives On in NORMANDY GOLD #1



Story by: Megan Abbott and Alison Gaylin
Art by: Steve Scott
Colors by: Lovern Kindzierski
Publisher: Titan Comics
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To sum it all up..

Normandy Gold #1 is a strong debut issue from Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin and Steve Scott.

Posted June 16, 2017 by


Titan Comics’ Hard Case Crime imprint has been home to the some of the best crime comics in recent memory. And once again, the publisher has struck gold (pun intended) with the debut of Normandy Gold #1 by Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin and Steve Scott.

The comic follows the titular character Sheriff Normandy Gold, who receives a phone call from her sister in her last moments. Despite their tumultuous relationship, she sets out to Washington D.C. to infiltrate a prostitution ring her sister was involved in and bring her to justice no matter what it takes (as you will see later on). The story beats are reminiscent of the hardboiled crime thrillers of the past, but Normandy Gold is just as much about its headstrong protagonist as its plot.

Written by veteran crime writers Abbott and Gaylin, they provide a perfectly paced characterization of Normandy all throughout the issue, slowly feeding us bits and pieces of her harshly delicate upbringing that eventually led her to becoming a Sheriff. From her skinning a moose in her introduction, to even pulling a knife to a fellow officer of the law, Normandy definitely does not fool around.


A whole lot happens in this issue. And in today’s landscape of “writing for the trade,” the effort of packing as much plot and development into a serialized single issue is appreciated. However, the issue is heavily stacked with exposition as a result. While it’s a treat to read something that has this much story content – which can probably be attributed to the writers being prose authors – there are times where the pacing suffers unintentionally, and there are character moments that never get the chance to breathe. Nevertheless, Abbott and Gaylin deliver something complete and intriguing.

Steve Scott’s art has the right amount of roughness and grit that helps breathe life into the story and characters. Combined with the colors of Lovern Kindzierski, Normandy Gold perfectly captures that pulpy feel, where anything could go wrong at any moment. There’s a nuanced determination that can be seen in Normandy’s face, which is a testament to Scott’s skills. Furthermore, Scott and Kindzierski showcase their art in different settings effortlessly: from the lush woods of Oregon to the bleached urban setting of D.C. The desaturated panels scattered throughout also serves a fitting stylistic choice.

Having female writers also gives Normandy Gold #1 a sense of authenticity, especially in the comics industry where male writers take up the majority. While there are lots of great original titles with a female lead (e.g. Lazarus, Velvet), the creator-owned sector of the industry is severely lacking female writers in that department, and it’s much more of a rarity in the crime genre. All that aside, Normandy Gold #1 is ultimately another strong entry into crime comics. So if you’re feeling a little criminal, this strong debut issue from Abbott and Gaylin will surely scratch your itch.

Drew Bagay

Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.


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