Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fight For Tomorrow

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Denys Cowan and Kent Williams

Fight For Tomorrow was Brian Wood's first comic for Vertigo, and if feels much less polished than his later offerings. The thing is, it feels less thought-out than some of his earlier work for AIT/PlanetLar as well. The core concept is sound - Cedric is a young man who was abducted as a child and forced to fight in illegal boxing matches until he escaped with his girlfriend, who is now missing. Cedric returns to the illegal fight scene, and discovers that she's gone back there too, starting off a huge battle for revenge and her freedom.

It's the execution that's the problem. There are too many scenes that ring false - mostly revolving around the Big Sister and Little Brother (the names drove me nuts) that live in a Buddhist temple in New York that take Cedric into their family and help him with his fight.

I think my problem with it all is that Wood is playing with Kung Fu revenge movie archetypes, but he's playing it realistically, instead of going over the top as he did in his Couriers graphic novels. This type of story has to be camped up a little, or it just seems false - especially since Cedric leaves a trail of bodies behind him, but the police are never involved (even if they were just seen to be receiving pay-offs).

It is nice to see Denys Cowan's art again, although it's a lot scratchier than I remember, and in places hard to follow.

This is not Wood's best work. What is missing the most from this comic is the strong sense of place his other titles - Local (obviously), Northlanders, and DMZ all have as their centers. It is a good action read though....

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