Scoop, Vol. 1: Breaking News can’t be faltered for its youthful, smirk-ridden energy. volume one of this all-ages title rattles along at swift pace that’s illuminated in warm, gorgeous art. Heroine Sophie Cooper’s aspirations of being a hot-shot journalist, whilst being flung into a story with life-threatening repercussions, lend the comic an innocent if not wholly original charm. However, Scoop‘s energy is as much its greatest strength as it is its greatest weakness. Such is the bustling throttle of the comic, it rarely settles down to deliver a focused story. It has no issue in setting one up, but numerous plot twists send the comic veering off the road of the reader’s expectations.
The first half of Scoop is an easy-going enough affair that sets up characters and plot points succinctly, with 14-year-old Sophie’s internship at a local news channel escalates into a personal investigation to clear her father’s name, who’s under house arrest for money laundering. So far, so good. What drags the comic down is how writer Richard Hamilton chooses to climax the story, with a finale involving alligator men and experiments in time. The payoff may be perplexing, but the chase towards it is a bubbly good time.
Hamilton displays a knack for engaging characters who’s quirks flow naturally and who’s personalities are never grating. Where the plot itself strays, the characters remain a source of fun. Even if Hamilton’s story flounders towards the end, Sophie, as a character, is reliably entertaining to follow as our guide through the story. Her unravelling of the mystery surrounding her father’s house arrest is made all the more absorbing thanks to her warm personality, a fusion of teenage naivety and resilience in the face of danger.
Illustrator Joseph Cooper, a veteran of just about every big name publisher from Marvel, DC, Valiant, Image and Dynamite, and colourists Peter Pantazis and Alba Cardona give Scoop a tour-de-force of thick, spry vibrancy. Pantazis and Cardona’s bold colours mixed with Cooper’s detailed expressions are a perfect match for Hamilton’s youth-orientated story-telling. Cooper grounds the crazy goings on of Scoop with a sense of emotional clarity in the characters. His knack for pinpointing a character’s feelings by expressing them visually lends Scoop a delicate but welcome touch of sensitivity, and reminds the reader that the story at Scoop’s heart is of a girl trying to help her family.
Scoop, Vol. 1: Breaking News has modest ambitions, despite its buoyancy. It’s not a comic to change the world, but it’s a quirky, energetic read that’s hampered by its own irreverent charm. Hamilton and Cooper have opened up a world and characters that deserve to be explored further with future volumes.