Dee is a junkie and highly active sexual creature who is given an inordinate amount of money to do a job as prescribed by a mysterious man known as Mr. Mann. Her daily tasks are minimal, and she ends up spending most of her earnings at strip bars or peep shows, from which she is constantly forcibly removed. Kowalski is a 9-1-1 operator and a workaholic, avoiding her home life and staying on for double shifts, triple shifts, or even longer. Lastly, a nameless woman finds a pistol in the street outside her friend’s apartment complex and calls the non-emergency line, which connects her to Kowalski. The building ends up being Dee’s, as is the gun, and this is the beginning of the three women being pulled together into a criminal plot that spans their city.
Much of Matt Fraction’s body of work delivers solid storylines with plenty of humor. This story departs from that style and delves headfirst into obfuscating and providing tidbits to hopefully bring the reader along on this mystery. The description provided by the publisher for this series gives much more insight into how these three stories are connected than the first volume and a half does. Until one small clue starts to tie these ladies together, November is essentially three separate stories. There is quite a bit of mystery and intrigue, but there might not be quite enough revealed in the first few volumes to keep readers interested in continuing. Dee frequenting strip clubs also seems like an unnecessary character detail that serves to be a reason to include naked women throughout the story, rather than adding complexity to her as a person.
The lettering has won the hearts of critics for its beauty, but it is often hard to read. Kowalski’s inner monologue is all in cursive, and not an easy-to-read spaced out cursive. Pages are often crowded with many illustrations and text bubbles that threaten to overtake the action, which makes me wonder why these volumes need to be so short. With only 80 pages currently, panels could have been spaced more and the overall story would happen over more pages, but some of the sequences of art would have been easier to follow along.
While some readers may be drawn in to figuring out how these disparate elements connect, and Fraction’s existing fans might be willing to extend some faith to his work, most readers won’t find much about the storyline itself to continue reading past volume one.
November, Vols. 1 and 2
By Matt Fraction
Art by Elsa Charretier, Matt Hollingsworth
Image Comics, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: Mature
Series ISBNS and Order
Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)
Character Traits: Disability