cover image The Family Trade, Vol. 1

The Family Trade, Vol. 1

Justin Jordan and Nikki Ryan. Image, $16.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-5343-0511-3

This fantastical espionage comic follows Jessa Wynn, a member of “the Family,” a secret spy ring monitoring the clans who run their constructed island, the Float. Jessa is convinced that Berghardt, currently campaigning to run the island, is corrupt. He is an apparent stand-in for President Trump—even in whimsical watercolors, the hair style and vocabulary are distinct. As Jessa gathers intel at a rally, things go awry. During her escape, she discovers Berghardt knows about the Family, and uncovers a document proving one of the group is colluding with him. As she chases the truth, her life will change forever. Jessa is instantly likable as a character, a woman of color (the artwork suggests she is black or Latina) who fiercely holds her own against the white men who surround her. The romantic, painterly art style is unusual for the genre; colors that don’t typically mesh are splashed across the pages, creating an avant-garde delight. Plot twists abound that will surprise the most adept espionage readers, catching them off guard as soon as they think they’ve figured it out. This first volume in an ongoing series will feel accessible to readers who are new to the form or not typically genre readers, and boasts a satisfying mix of political satire and action (along with a band of spy cats). (Apr.)