Alison Dare and the Heart of the Maiden

    (Oni, 2002)

Alison Dare makes no apologies for so closely resembling an Indiana Jones film, but those films made no apologies for the serials that inspired them, either. Nor should it — or they. Heart of the Maiden is simply an excellent example of an action-adventure story written for comics. And it manages to throw in enough twists to keep things even more interesting.

Spunky and headstrong Alison is the daughter of a world-famous archaeologist; Alison finds life at a private Catholic school a bit too quiet. Like her mom, she can’t resist the temptation to explore the unknown — except that, for Alison, the unknown is whatever lies outside her bedroom window after dark. She sneaks out with her two friends Dot and Wendy and quickly discovers — what else? — a hidden chamber beneath a nondescript statue. And a few other surprises.

As he did in The Copybook Tales, writer J. Torres shows he’s still well in touch with his inner child. His characters behave, think, and act like the mischievous children they are. And he demonstrates that he can write more than musings about the good old days by crafting an intriguing, even suspenseful tale. J. Bone’s art is simple and clean; the animated style that is similar to DC’s Adventures titles is perfectly suited for this simple story that can be enjoyed by all ages.

It’s unfortunate that this is only a two-issue series. But fans of good ol’ adventure stories will, nevertheless, want to pick this up.

— Jim Johnson

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 B&WJ. TorresJason Bone


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 14 pages; B&WJ. TorresJason Bone