Friday, April 11, 2008

Pax Romana #1-2

Story and Art by Jonathan Hickman

Ah, my first blog post. Where is the fanfare? The teeming crowds of adorers? No matter...

OH!...... i see, I...uh...thanks!

Jonathan Hickman, you clever bastard. I put off reading this one for months when on perusal it seemed dense and remarkably similar to your last title, Nightly News. Not that I had a problem with that one, but I was starting to get the feeling that you were a one-trick-pony. A flash in the pan. A pretender to the whatever. I am standing, here, corrected. Let it be known that I have found correction.

This is one of the sweetest premises to a comic book, or any work of fiction, that I've read in a long time. The idea is that the Vatican (in 2053 or thereabouts) is sponsoring a trip BACK IN TIME to assert the dominance of the Catholic Church for time eternum using modern day soldiers and weaponry. Hickman uses sneaky little mechanics like transcribed minutes from meetings between Vatican officials and Private Military Contractors to explore the morality and practicality of what they want to accomplish. Brilliant. Love it. Yes.

Here's the thing: the art is way over the top. I get that every page is this meticulously crafted piece that I should hang on a wall but in terms of the narrative it's just fucking distracting. Each frame is a portrait of some dude (that looks a lot like all the other dudes) making a Lenin-stance surrounded by 75 speech bubbles. So, props for the effort, but you're not pulling it off.

Nevertheless, between this and Transhuman I will be watching you from here on in, Hickman.

Everyone else: READ THIS SHIT. 6 clever things out of 8 clever things.

Here's my list of comics this week.