spacey's A-Team: War Stories: Murdock #1 review

Crazy Awesome, or just plain crazy?

As a fan of the original series, and of Murdock in particular, I more than anyone really wanted this comic to succeed. Does it? Let's break it down:

I like this comic in that it retains a lot of the simple charm and whimsicality of the original series, while still addressing the character as a real person (well, relatively real). I felt like the comic really understood Murdock, allowing the original character to figure into the portrayal while still remaining faithful to the reboot to which this comic is tied. I enjoyed the little mythology gags, like the mention of Murdock's imaginary dog, Billy. As well, they took time to include his ability in a number of languages, and kept the little pop culture references that I loved so much about the show.  I felt that the plot of the comic, much like the movie, was fun. Not totally serious, but I'd expect nothing less from Murdock. I enjoyed the sort of anti-canon approach to what, precisely, happened on his last mission, and why he's landed in a mental institution.    

However, the artwork is erratic at best. While there are a lot of really good things about it, like the setting and helicopter, which is lovingly rendered and well-drawn, the actual people are inconsistent, with far too many lines on their faces, and, in one particularly jarring panel, no faces at all. I felt the character art was inconsistent, in that from panel to panel Murdock and others were liable to experience subtle shifts in facial structure and design. In some panels there was an obvious lack of detail that detracted from the overall quality, while in others there was way, way too much. 

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this comic. Maybe it was my nostalgia goggles acting up, but it reminded me of all the good feelings I have tied up with the A-Team television show. Do I feel that this comic succeeds in what it sets out to do? Yes, absolutely. Would I recommend it to fans of the show or the movie? Again, yes. Would I recommend this comic to people who don't know the A-Team? Yes. It's a little bit of a strange story for someone who doesn't know the characters or the premise, but Murdock is the most entertaining of all four members of the team, and if you need to be initiated into the A-Team, I can think of no one better to do it. 

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