Written By: Joseph Keatinge
Art By: Wook Jin Clark
Published By: Image Comics
In Flavor #1, we follow Xoo, an underage and unlicensed chef who is stuck between a rock and a hard place. She’s dropped out of school to help her sick parents out at their restaurant. The state however, feels the need to intervene and brings in Xoo’s uncle Lim to help care for the family. Unless Xoo’s family steps up their game, the state will shut down their restaurant and split the family up. There’s also a dog that can pedal a bike and do other cool stuff. He’s a very good boy.
While the setting is kind of interesting, Flavor’s first issue is honestly a bit boring. It’s just one big introductory dump to set up the characters and world. The city Xoo and her family live in is surrounded by an enormous wall and the State is heavily involved with its citizens. Xoo’s character is what you would expect of a somewhat rebellious youth. The uncle seems like a goofball with a nonchalant attitude despite his dire situation while Buster the dog is used for a pretty funny “adulting” joke when Lim shows up at Xoo’s house. Overall though, the last page is the most intriguing part of the book.
The comic’s style has me in a weird position. On the one hand, the cartoonish styling works well in a setting where a walled city is run by food. On the other hand, the artwork occasionally stumbles in the facial feature department. Some angles lead to weird looking faces where the artist tried to cram all the pieces into the characters face and they end up looking like Chunk from The Goonies.
Flavor’s biggest flaw lies in the fact that its just a bit too slow of an introductory dump. It throws a lot of what should be emotional turmoil at you but its hard to connect with the characters when we don’t know anything about them. With that being said, the last page of the book definitely helps salvage itself by making the world even more intriguing.