The Unknown (Boom! – Waid / Oosterveer)
Another book I wanted to like. The art while not flashy tells the story in a competent, clear way. Vertigoesque. The colors are a bit too air brushy, they would be better served with something more flat. The main character has charisma, but suffers from the ailment that all fictional savants suffer from. The Wow she’s so smart, so incredibly smart, how could she have figured that out kind of smart. When in fact it’s really just a literary trick. Their ability to figure stuff out is kind of contrived. And in this case, the initial scene of discovery and disclosure wasn’t even that intriging or unusual. You or I probably could have figured it out.
And I could have done without the annoying, obligatory, I’m so smart I can do 10 at once and be snotty you at the same time scene.
The back story was a bit weak and obvious too. I would have liked it better if it had been built up over time not slopped in front of me like greasy eggs. Her body guard’s back story is more intriguing for some reason, less said more to develop.
Her brain tumor subplot might be interesting. But it might also be causing the heavy handed ‘apparition’ which clearly won’t turn out to be so that keeps on mysteriously popping up. Or it might end up being a dopey cliche.
And the stunning plot revelation at the end of issue one, that their clients have built a machine ‘to measure the human soul’, like it’s some horrible thing they’ll exploit somehow. And the reasoning behind her deduction is weak, that designing scales that can weigh a single atom or less has only one imaginable application. Why? And why would the soul weigh less than an atom? And how is weighing the soul a threat? I don’t know, I’m not feeling it. Not feeling the weight of the concept like with some Alan Moore or Warren Ellis type concepts.
And, I hate her button popping blouse.
I on new books like this as potential new Hellboys. I remember picking up the first mini-series and saying, whatever. Boy was I wrong. So, everytime I crack open a new indie book I keep that in mind.
Still, this feels more like another Ghost (Dark Horse) than a Hellboy. Probably on account the lame bodice thing.
Mark Waid we all know is great writer and is a great story in his own right, but this one just doesn’t have it yet, but here’s hoping.