"A jew, a drunk and a scientist walk in to a lab...That`s all." "I`m sorry Mr. President...I don`t--" "Look behind you."
That réplique is from one of my faf scenes in the book (I would like to note that the other man, Richard Feynman, actually said "Mister President". I shortened it, so I could fit it to the headline space. If you`re enraged of this, "sorry".). There`s a few more scenes which I like quite a bit. It automatically means that this is a good comic.
Other things make this good, too. First off, I`ll mention the art. It`s one of those ones that walk in the region of simplified and detailed. It`s rendered with precision. It`s clean. The lines are precise, pictures have breathing space= they`re not crammed. There`s imaginative and realistic stuff. It also looks familiar. Meaning, it resembles Frank Quitelys style a great deal, without mimicking it. More like, borrowing stuff from Quitelys style.
Much like the writer, Jonathan Hickman does. Except that he uses the same tricks as Grant Morrison, instead. ALOT. When I first read a few stories from him (Fantastic four by Jonathan Hickman vol. 1) I didn`t notice it. But after I read from Hickmans own Formspring-page, a comment written by Hickman himself, that he considers Morrison to be his biggest influence, I noticed it everywhere in his writing. It bothered me, since I think that every writer should have a completely distinct writing style (which is impossible). But I didn`t stop reading his FF-stories, because I had faith, that the story would still be worth it. For the most part, for a while, it was. Then it dipped in quality, for the most part. Became more ordinary. Something that I wouldn`t have had seen in about a dozen comic sagas already. Is this any different? Of course. I would think so. Hope so.
What makes me feel that way then? Is it the fact that it stars (for the most part) scientists from our dimensions Earth/the "real" world? Is it because these scientists are parodies of themselves? Is it because in this one, you can find out to what race those grey & big headed, slim aliens belong to? Or is it `cause it feels fresher and more well produced than Hickmans run on Fantastic four, which gets more praise simply `cause more persons read it?
Sure, having a cast of characters, who weren`t originally seen and heard of in the pages of funny books isn`t completely new. One might say, after thinking about it for a while, that it`s not new at all, and would be right. But it`s not a fault at all. So why am I mentioning it? I dunno. Maybe I`m trying to point out what`s new and what isn`t. It has aliens. Are they new? No. Robots? Of course not. Grand crisises? Obviously not. The dialogue, easy-to-take-care-of-adversaries, faulty protagonists, a character having a multiple persinality disorder, different dimensions? NO!
No. It`s fulla things seen before. Not a bad thing of course, since everything is.
But...WHAT is new, unique, then?
Then why does it feel fresh?
Maybe it`s an illusion. Maybe it feels entertaining, instead? Yes...I`m gonna go with that. Because that`s what the story is like. Hickman knows how to write entertaining stories. Surprising stories.
Yeah, the story also surprised me. I could tell you on what parts of it, but that would be kinda stupid. Suffice it to say, that while most of the plot twists and surprises are surely taken from a book called "100001 plot twists to use", they are hidden well. And when you find out, you`ll be thinking "Oh my god, for realz?". Or maybe not. There`s always exceptions. For example the fact that you might be an atheist.
Some of the surprises and scenes are genuinely original though (which means that I was wrong about this not having anything unique). USAs then-Presidents dialogue on the last scene of ish 3? Utter brilliance. He was actually portrayed in a way that a president in a minor role in a story, usually doesn`t have these day. Maybe has never had. At least in any case that I know of (that scene is my FAF in the book, BTW).
The coloring is clear and awesome. Not only that, sometimes it has a bigger purpose. It only blocks the art a bit in 99 % of the story. Which is very good indeed, these days.
Inking is equally professional.
It also has those pretty needless pages that are in the FF trades written by Hickman, too (which leads to the conclusion, that they were at least partly designed by JH). At least they look cool.
And those Morrison influences...they didn`t bother me as much anymore. Why? Is it because this time the writer had more liberty, since this doesn`t tell about Nick Fury or Ultimates, who were created and used by others? Because I had gotten use to that fact? Because I focused more on the Hickmanian sides of the story (which I, unfortunately, think are few in number)? Once again, yes.
That`s alI I can tell you about what the comic is like, though. And I ain`t accurate enough. Therefore, you just have to find out yourself, if you don`t already know.
Which means that I helped you...immensely little.
Damn. That`s so anticlimactic and useless. Bit like the ending to this review.