ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Scoop: Buried Leads’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Scoop: Buried Leads - But Why Tho?Scoop: Buried Leads is a sci-fi mystery graphic novel written by Richard Ashley Hamilton, illustrated by Pablo Andrés, colored by Kiké J. Diáz, and published by Insight Comics/Insight Editions. Teenage news station intern Sophie Cooper uncovered a huge time travel-related mystery in the previous volume, and now she is coping with her newfound fame while working to solve her next mystery.

If you, like me, have not read Scoop‘s first volume, some elements may be confusing in Scoop: Buried Leads, particularly in the sci-fi department. The book does not fully elaborate on the happenings of the previous volume. Rather, it drops you into a confusing opening from a few decades prior and a chase with an alien before getting into the real story. It’s easy to infer what is going on soon enough though, and the story within Scoop: Buried Leads is mostly self-contained enough to enjoy on its own. A man has been framed for the murder of his second wife and he asks Sophie to help him get to the bottom of it. She is also hoping to shed some light on the plight of some of her city’s poorer communities, but she finds herself a bit naive.

I appreciate that you can really tell Sophie is a teenager, and not just because a big subplot revolves around her quinciñera. While it’s a bit farfetched to me that a teen has this whole internship with a news station, I suppose Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were youngsters too, so it’s ultimately easy to suspend disbelief. Moreover, Sophie’s relationships are very teenaged. Her closeness with her brother Kit is really great, and the way the crushes play out is totally on-point. Mostly though, I appreciate that she is naive.

I’m a communications manager at a social service agency, and reading Sophie’s struggle with balancing the importance of relaying people’s struggles to the public against the need to allow people to speak, or not speak, for themselves is eternally challenging yet essential. While she never quite lands anywhere in the journey to discern how to amplify voices without speaking for them, her journey through it is a crucial one. Sophie is rich and light-skinned. She has vast privileges that she starts to learn to reconcile in order not to make assumptions about what people need and how to tell their stories.

I quite like the art in Scoop: Buried Leads. Especially in the action sequences, there are really beautiful designs and full-page spreads that have me wanting to both go back and read the previous volume and keep up with the next to get more of the sci-fi elements the series has to offer. The sci-fi elements are the most exciting to look at. I only wish they went further. Most of the sci-fi elements are teasers for what will likely take place at the center of the next volume, but they are seriously intriguing.

I also appreciate that the teenagers not only act like teens, but they’re also drawn to actually look like teens too. Too often teens in comics that use a more realistic style such as this book’s look much older than they are. The way the teen’s faces are drawn here really makes their juvenility clear.

The colors are consistently lovely throughout. There’s a very Floridian palette to the whole book with the shades of orange, blue, and tan employed. The swamp scenes, too, are colored very well so as to give an extra layer of foreboding.

Scoop: Buried Leads has some confusing elements, but its core lessons are well-taught and it leaves ample room for interest in both the previous and future additions to the series.

Scoop: Buried Leads will be available February 26th.

Scoop: Buried Leads
4

TL;DR

Scoop: Buried Leads has some confusing elements, but its core lessons are well-taught and it leaves ample room for interest in both the previous and future additions to the series.