So Jonathan Hickman, him I like. He brings a nice intellectualism to comics you don’t often see. For some I bet this can be tedious, I like it.
He has a tendancy to explore issues and ideas in a bit more detail than we generally see. He works of a bunch of different levels, he has catchy ideas, he tells an decent tale, but on top (or underneath all that) there’s all this specific knowledge on the subject he’s chosen separate from the story. In Transhuman he goes into quite a bit of detail about start up companies that become mega corporations, in Pax Romana he details how power struggles unfold. It’s like whatever current intriguing non-fiction book he’s read lately he turns into a fiction story.
The problem I see with his work, and who am I to talk, is that often his work is less a decent narrative than like…cliff notes. Often times it feels like a text book, rather than a fiction book. Maybe a documentary rather than a fiction movie. Nothin’ wrong with documentaries, I like ’em, hell I trained in ’em, but they’re not fiction and don’t have the spunk fiction does.
The thing I see about Jonathan Hickman is that he’s most likely smarter than the average duck, and once he gets a hang of the fictional narrative thing (and hanging around with that Bendis guy will probably help), he should rocket to the top.
In the meantime, keeping enjoying his books for what they are, a bit more education than entertainment, but better than a text book.
The art by Bodenheim is alright, some anatomy quirks which he will quickly outgrow. He captures emotion well, the action from panel to panel is kind of weak, but not incoherant or confusing and there is a distinct lack of a feeling of place, where we are, and where characters are in relation to each other. Often times the background are generic or just splatter brushed. A nod to his ‘Hall of Justice’ Homage in Red Mass #3, though.