Rainbow Brite #1 Review - Blast From the Past
Updated: Dec 20, 2019
I'm always excited when I hear that an intellectual property from my childhood is being rebooted or updated for modern times. I'm almost always disappointed or underwhelmed but I do appreciate that the franchises aren't just left to rot in the past.
Rainbow Brite #1 follows Wisp (Rainbow Brite) and Willow (Her best friend). They are two normal kids. They play, get into trouble and are loyal to each other. After a day of larping, Willow goes home. Later that evening, Wisp sees something outside and goes to investigate. It turns out the somethings are monsters and they have stripped the color from her mother's car. Wisp tries to fight the monsters but can't hurt them with her play sword, so she runs off.
In the midst of escaping Wisp runs into, Twinkle a Sprite. Twinkle gives her the rundown that the monsters are minions of the Shadow King. He offers to teleport them away but isn't able to because the area is too dark and he needs light for his powers to work properly.
Wisp, has the bright idea to go over Willows's house, activate her burglar alarm and set off her floodlights. She goes to the home and tries to get Willows's attention. This plan works but not before the monsters catch up to her. Wisp tells her to set off the alarm and Willow breaks her window. This causes the floodlights to go off. The monsters fade away and Twinkle teleports Wisp to Rainbow land, which seems to have been stripped of all color.
As an origin story, Rainbow Brite is a perfect read. It sets up the friendship and loyalty between the main characters. The story also establishes some heroic qualities in Wisp that will no doubt come into play when she transitions to being Rainbow Brite. Wisp is imaginative, heroic and resourceful. All of these qualities emerge as she is able to overcome the threat of this issue.
I'm not a fan of series that launch where the promised character doesn't show up. We see the origin of Wisp but not having her in character is a negative. Even if the book was extended and she only appeared in a few panels It would have been greatly appreciated. I would have gladly paid a couple more bucks more for a 48-page opening if that was what it took to get our hero on at least a few pages.
I would have also preferred an art style more in line with the Paulina Ganucheau cover or even a straight-up rip of the 80's cartoon. The art is expressive and all of the characters are distinct. Brittney Williams conveys action well and the style could be easily translated into an animated series. Nothing is wrong here it's more of a taste issue for me.
The colors are purposely muted in this issue. I'll be very interested to see what our colorist is able to do with this material once Wisp becomes Rainbow Brite. It will be very interesting to see what Brittney Williams can pull off with this material. Realistically speaking the colorist will be the most important part of this series.
I would have preferred a more mature take on the story, I.E. Stranger Things. I wasn't looking for anything too outrageous but the Cover did give me the impression that the story would be aimed at a slightly older audience.
I love the setup and will be reading the series through the first story arc at the very least. This is a really good comic for all ages and I could see kids especially young girls really getting into this story and enjoying it. On that note, mission accomplished.