Review: First Wave #2

Posted by Zack Freeman (683 posts) - - Show Bio

The Blackhawks start playing dirty when the Spirit starts meddling in their affairs. 

The Good

Rags Morales is a masterful storyteller with a truecommand of body language, setting and composition. He puts the work into rendering of everything from Batman's hi-tech plane to a gumshoe's messy office to even a bubbly bathroom with equal care. It's his talents, in fact, that make my issues with the art doubly-frustrating.

The Bad

I'm a little conflicted about the art. I'm a big fan of Morales' work, but I've never been a fan of comics featuring colored art that hasn't been inked. I've only seen it work a couple times, and this definitely isn't the case. I realize they're trying to give this a unique look, but I think there were a lot of other ways that could've been accomplished. I don't know if Ruffino's colors are to blame, because he does some good production work, but it never looks right when you can see the pencils underneath. Instead of appreciating the art for what it was, I was more often thinking about how much better it could look with an inker tightening the lines. It was enough to be distracting. 
I wasn't feeling the story, in general, either. I understand that the conceit of this series is to unite all the pulp-era characters together, but these characters are just too different to jibe together cohesively. I'm so used to seeing the Spirit in more down-to-Earth crime stories with a touch of humor that it just doesn't sit right to see him portrayed like another superhero. The whole thing just feels like a mess, and the five or six page monologue at the end doesn't really tie it all up that well, either. The correlation between the captions and the panels just wasn't hitting me. In fact, it was more often confusing.

The Verdict  - 2/5

The best comparison I can make is that this felt like reading a crossover between something like the Transformers and the Green Hornet. Could you plot out a story? Sure. Would it feel right? Probably not. The best way to put it is that this felt like a soup. The ingredients mixed in would taste good on their own, but not together. And I think my complaints about the ink-less art can fit under that descriptor, as well.
#1 Posted by Kowalczyk (17 posts) - - Show Bio

Kinda sad to see only a 2, still might pick this up

#2 Posted by Theodore (3607 posts) - - Show Bio

agreed, I read it... it was meh.

#3 Posted by Green ankh (1077 posts) - - Show Bio

I havent read this issue yet. But from you said my first fears may be true.  I wasn't sure how Batman might fit with the Spirit and Savage. 



#4 Posted by Nova`Prime` (4172 posts) - - Show Bio

I read the first one and the Batman Doc Savage prologue, I have to say just from the prologue itself this is an awesome concept. But that was thrown out the window when I read the first real issue. It just seems like there is way to much going on and nothing really connecting them. I was debating on picking this issue up but now that I've read this review I think I will wait and see if they release this mini in trade.

#5 Posted by Green ankh (1077 posts) - - Show Bio

 wish i read this before reading issue 2. It was like a badly edited film.
#6 Posted by Illuminarch (244 posts) - - Show Bio

I stopped caring about this series when I read Azzarello's politically correct posturing in the back of the prologue (Doc Savage is "mixed-race", technicolor Blackhawks, etc...). That told me that not only was this going to be a frustrating read, but that the author did not know much about the characters. These doubts were only confirmed by reading the first issue, which was muddled and mostly incoherent. 
The thing is, the original Pulps themselves are not very good, so it shouldn't take much skill to make a passable Doc Savage/Batman/whoever story. These comics, however, almost make the original novellas look like sophisticated literature.

#7 Posted by bakanekonei (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, Nei Ruffino isn't a HE. The art is inked by Rags himself as well as greywashed.

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