Last year, James Harvey made a big impression with his oversized Image Comics one-shot Masterplasty, a title that showcased the cartoonist’s storytelling versatility and the intense energy of his artwork. His comics work has been very limited since then, but readers finally get another full issue of new Harvey art this week as he joins We Are Robin for a special standalone issue. The book’s regular art team of Jorge Corona and Patricia Mulvihill has done great work giving the title a fresh, dynamic look, but Harvey’s arrival brings a wave of style that makes the visuals unlike anything else DC currently publishes. Harvey’s character design variant covers for the first three issues of We Are Robin offered a taste of what’s to come, but they pale in comparison to the imagination and personality on display in these preview pages.
Harvey brings excitement to Lee Bermejo’s script, and the composition of the first two-page spread in this preview is a perfect example of how Harvey’s art (with ink assists from Diana Egea and color assists by Alex Jaffe) elevates the writing. Bermejo’s script for the spread is a straightforward recap of the title’s concept and recent events, but the art introduces the characters in a collage of images with an unconventional composition and bold coloring that has strong graphic impact. It’s a rush of visual information, but the art is significantly streamlined when the focus narrows in on Riko, conforming to a more traditional layout to reflect the forced order of Riko’s school life. Those kinds of thoughtful choices are what Harvey such an engaging, innovative creator, and his talent makes We Are Robin #4 one of this week’s top comic picks.