Sunday, September 24, 2006

Walking Dead, Next Wave

Walking Dead HC Vol 1

Well so I finally sat down and slogged through the remaining half of Robert Kirkman's zombie epic Walking Dead. And while I was encouraged enough to probably want to check out the next chunk of story, it's really been kind of disappointing. I like the artistic style. I like the plot. I love Kirkman's overall vision for the book being a zombie movie that never ends, I think it's a wonderful concept for the book, and it will be interesting to see it develop. For those wondering just what I'm talking about, Kirkman's Walking Dead is a book about people post-zombegedon trying to survive. You've got the typical multi-cultural swath of people you normally see in these sorts of things(intentionally so), black guy, cop, Asian guy, old guy, teenage girls, some kids--yada yada. Kirkman's idea for it is a "zombie movie that never ends". Which is a really good idea for which the monthly setup of comics is perfect.

HOWEVER. The dialogue sucks. Plain and simple. It doesn't characterize. All of the characters talk the same, say the same things--and the bulk of all of the dialogue is expository in nature, which is bad in and of itself, but even worse when you are talking about panels completely taken up with expository talk bubbles that could be edited down to a well written piece of dialogue, rather than chunk. The strength of this book is in it's long term build. Getting to sit and stew with the characters in these different environments letting the claustrophobia build. And though Kirkman has laid some interesting threads in the first twelve issues presented here, I just hope they don't happen in the very clich├ęd annoying way that they could very well happen. I also think there have been more than a few missed opportunities to throw in some really shocking, disturbing stuff. The time they spent at the farm...it was sort of shocking what they had done with the barn...but if say this was an Ennis book, we could have had something special at that farm. I just feel like the characters are too muted, too sterile. I have to hand it to Kirkman though, he's got me through twelve issues of a story where there's not a single character I’m really interested in.

I don't know. Like I said, I will probably try and read the next chunk. But this isn't something I'd rush out to read every month though. But it is a book since it's such a large large idea in scope that I'd like to give a chance. Like I'd like to see where this book is at by issue one hundred.

So it's not a book I'd tell people to rush out and buy unless you are bored for something to read. But you could do a lot worse. Now I need to read Invincible by Kirkman, before I can fully decide on him. He might be another writer in comics that is really popular that I just don't enjoy (like Bendis).

Next Wave: Agents of H.A.T.E. # 1-6

As for Next Wave. It's staggering to me that this pile of crap is written by the same genius that is currently doing Fell, and who wrote Transmetropolitan and the Authority. Because god does this book suck. It's about this organization called H.A.T.E, which stands for something anti-terroristy, but is actually backed by a group called The Beyond, which used to be a terrorist group called S.I.L.E.N.T. Anyways. There's a super group working for H.A.T.E(run by a Nick Fury gone crazy guy named Dirk Anger) who find out about this, defect, and the book is basically about crude jokes, smashing things, blowing things up--and every arc is two issues long. Blegh. Problem is I'm supposed to be laughing throughout the entire book. I'm reading this book, remembering the reviews I read about it, saying it was the funniest book out there, and I'm sitting here telling myself "I'm supposed to be laughing". I almost chuckled once in the entire first 6 issues. The jokes are formulaic, almost madlib-like. The characters are all boring. I hate them all. I almost like Dirk Anger. Almost.

Honestly this book would probably make a better cartoon than comic book. I think the book is supposed to be manic-paced. But it seems to flow about as much as pool of piss in sand. The artwork is sort of cool. But on the whole, this is a book I will never be picking up again for any reason at all. I hate myself for giving it 6 issues. This is the exact reason why I stopped reading Warren Ellis. Which sucks, because for every steaming pile like this, he writes something brilliant like Fell. You just don't know what Warren Ellis is going to show up in each book.

My review for Next Wave: Instead of buying one copy of Next Wave, buy two copies of Fell.

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