Title: The Girl in the Bay #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: J.M. DeMatteis
Art: Corin Howell
Colors: James Devlin
Published: February 6, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: In 1969, seventeen-year-old Kathy Sartori was brutally attacked, her body hurled into Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay. Miraculously, she survives and fights her way back to the surface, only to discover that fifty years have passed and an eerie doppelganger has lived out an entire life in her place. Kathy soon confronts not just this strange double, but the madman who ”murdered” her five decades earlier. Will he, and the dark entity that lives inside him, hold the key to Kathy’s missing years? Or will Kathy become a ghost of herself, forced to live out what remains of her life on the edge of the world that she desperately wants to be a part of? *Mature readers.
It’s April 1969 and everything seems groovy for Kathy Sartori. She’s young, has a few close friends, and a rebellious attitude toward life. But a meeting with a stranger is about to change Kathy’s life. When she emerges from the bay, she’s not herself, or rather, someone else has been her for the last 50 years. Now Kathy will have to piece her life and death together if she wants to save herself, but how?
J.M. DeMatteis immediately draws readers into the story within the first few panels. The Girl in the Bay #1 kicks off with a haunting introduction, a siren song if you will, to the readers, then takes off at full speed into Kathy’s story. From there, DeMatteis develops a story that is part fantasy and part mystery. The Girl in the Bay primarily asks questions. How can Kathy be both alive and dead? Who is Hugh and what does his tattoo mean? How did Kathy end up in the future? And, my personal favorite, how the hell is she going to figure this all out? The issue taps into shared fears of strangers, loss, and identity through these questions, connecting fantasy to reality with seamless execution.
Suspense, excitement, and dread are all woven into The Girl in the Bay #1. DeMatteis crafts a first issue that immediately intrigues. His character Kathy is genuine and her internal narrations are honest. Though there’s clearly a magical/mystical/spiritual element afoot in this series, Kathy’s voice anchors the reader in the here and now, making The Girl in the Bay #1 a highly relatable story.
While J.M. DeMatteis’ script in nearly flawless, Corin Howell’s art plays an equal part in The Girl in the Bay #1’s success. Howell’s artwork is detailed, perfectly capturing the emotion in DeMatteis’ script. Howell’s rendering of the mystery goddess is worth a second or third look, the figure is detailed and complex, adding layers to the unscripted portions of DeMatteis’ story.
The Bottom Line
What happened to Kathy? And who’s been living in her place? Suspenseful and intriguing, The Girl in the Bay #1 will captivate you from the opening panel. J.M. DeMatteis’ story is unique and his character genuine.