Chin Music #1
Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Tony Harris
Publisher: Image Comics
I really don’t know where to begin. I tend to be vocal on the writing and illustration when it comes to a good or bad comic reviews. But the thing is, I didn’t get enough of Chin Music’s first issue to really make a justified statement on how I really feel about it. It is slightly odd the direction this book took within the first few pages.
We see a character carving out an ancient text on a bullet and then carve what I assume to be a ritualistic symbol on his desk. He then loads the bullet into his revolver, aims his gun out a window, cocks the hammer and it then fades into a flashback.
We then see a chase in Egypt between 3 mystical bandits. or sorcerers. or magicians, no clue – and another mystical character. They near kill him but I’m assuming due to whatever powers he has doesn’t allow him death, (when you see how graphic it gets you’ll understand). As you can see where my train of thought is, because at this point I still don’t fully comprehend where the story is going. It is literally making me decipher what the book is actually about through Tony Harris’s artwork, there’s limited dialogue in this segment.
I realize what the book is doing, their trying to let the illustration explain everything but lack of writing in it is killing me, because other than the main cover of the book and the first page, judging from the motif of the artwork and overall look, I know that the book revolves around the prohibition era of the roaring twenties when mob bosses ran rabid and the long arm of the law held a Tommy gun, and courage.
Cause really up until now I didn’t get a full understanding of what the comic was about? There’s not enough writing to explain what is really going on. The only difference was that the book had a demonic detective vibe to it and made me think of the DC Comics character John Constantine.
After more than the midpoint of the comic do we realize who the main character is? It’s Eliot Ness. If you didn’t know any history, you wouldn’t know any reference Ness uses to determine who he even is other than his name.
Ness makes contact with the victim of the mystical bandits and attempts to rescue him, but we don’t know why Eliot Ness is in Egypt? (Really out of his jurisdiction) The brief interaction they have make me believe the victim kind of pulls a dying Abin Sur (Green Lantern) and give Ness his powers.
I know I lost you, trust me I’m lost myself. To really break it down, this is Image’s version of Constantine. I hate to explain it like that but that’s the only thing I can come up with, cause nothing in this book really does. Anyhow, the flashback ends, we go back to Ness taking a shot out the window at a target that maybe Al Capone, you just don’t know.
I hate that I pretty much explained the whole comic to you but trust me, It better this than to go though it yourself!
The writing in the book isn’t enough to really explain anything nor does it shine light on any of the characters. The illustration is ok, a little too clustered for my taste, but that might not be the case in future issues. Maybe Niles is trying to give a mysterious tone to it and not fully explaining the story to pull you into the second issue and beyond. The only thing we can do is wait for the second issue and hope it can salvage what the first issue lacked.
Due to the complexity of Chin Music number 1, I’m giving it 1 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Writer: Joshua Dysart & Duane Swierczynski
Artist: Clayton Henry & Pere Perez
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
First off, may I say that the artwork is phenomenal! The detail Henry and Perez bring to the comic is just terrific. It’s done in a way that it is a sigh of relief. Where most comics’ artwork is over cluttered and action sequences blend into each other, the continuity that this books artwork has is just magical.
From the aerial view of the landscape, to the small group shot of buildings in the Las Vegas skyline, you know the art in this book won’t disappoint. The introduction of the lone Psiots as they burst onto the scene is so impactful within the opening first page you quickly get an understanding of how this book’s tone is going to be!
Issue 2 of Harbinger Wars is exactly what I was expecting as Dysart and Swierczynski bring you a great story continuing from where the first issue left off! The intricacy with the plot is so tightly woven together that you totally drift off into the briefing that is being explained by representatives of the Rising Spirit and the NSA. Your imagination is treated with a story that could’ve been written for an action movie, let alone a comic book.
The story quickly shifts focus on the battle between Tony Harrada, his loyal group of Harbingers and Bloodshot. The story is so driven by Henry and Perez’s artwork that it’s like a missing piece to Dysart and Swierczynski puzzle. The art and story complement each other so well that it is hard for me to explain what I witness with my own eyes.
What’s perfect about issue 2 of Harbinger Wars is the revelation in the final few pages of the book, as past Valiant characters are brought into to the well oiled machine that Dysart and Swierczynski created. This is such an intriguing comic as you now realize that any other franchise character(s) from Valiant comics 20 year span can appear at the drop of a dime, the dynamics of the comic can change at any moment as Dysart and Swierczynski helm the wheel of this awesome story arc. I’m excited to see what direction issue 3 takes us in?
I’m giving Harbinger Wars; issue 2 a 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls!