Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Longbox

Choker
issue: 1 of 6
writer: Ben McCool
artist: Ben Templesmith
publisher: Image

Okay, just so we’re clear, I’ve spent the past week thinking that I really need to broaden my reading scope a bit for fear of being seen as a Marvel fanboy reviewer.  Also, I think it’s in the best interest of being a good reviewer to explore material that might lie outside my comfort zone.  Choker lies in that region and I’m afraid I won’t be venturing back.

Choker is the story of ex-cop turned hard boiled detective Johnny Jackson who lives in a city with mutants, monsters, and mystery.  Johnny is called back in by his former boss for a chance to get his badge and his old life back if he’ll help put away an escaped criminal he locked up years ago.  Elsewhere in the city, vampire DNA is sold as a drug in dance clubs, and a woman is kept captive in a basement.  Of course the connections are not immediately made known as this issue is pretty much all set up.

For me, the wheels come off with the noir setting getting mixed in with too many other things.  Cohesion is found through Templesmith’s dark and finely crafted pages, which look like they were colored with coffee, whiskey, and blood.  McCool’s writing is spot on noir with harsh language and an inner monologue serving as the main route of exposition.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind noir.  However, it’s not something I gravitate towards but when you throw in too much other stuff at one time that you’re trying to “noir up”, I begin to lose interest quickly.  All in all though, the writing is solid and the art is fantastic, it’s just that the material itself really doesn’t interest me.  This is what I get for going outside my comfort zone.  See you all next Sunday!

P.S.  I just realized that this is post #101.  I'm not sure if this is reason to celebrate or not.

2 comments:

Jon Auciello said...

Shit, even though you didn't like this, after reading this line:

"Cohesion is found through Templesmith’s dark and finely crafted pages, which look like they were colored with coffee, whiskey, and blood."

I'm sold.

Magus said...

Give it a shot, Jon. It's probably right up your alley in some ways. I know you love noir, and on the plus side the vampires didn't sparkle.