Monday, December 28, 2009

Fraction #1-6

Written by David Tischman
Art by Timothy Green II

DC started its 'Focus' imprint at a time when I was actively trying to buy less comics, so it was an easy choice for me to ignore. After reading the first volume of Hard Time in the summer, I realized that was an incorrect decision, and figured I would pick up the rest of that series, and any other Focus offerings if the chance presented itself. Enter Boxing Day Sales....

This series, which only lasted six issues, is about a group of four friends in their twenties, who get together one night to celebrate the release of one of the four from prison. They get up to their old antics, and start breaking into storage lockers. In one, they discover a high-tech suit of armor, like an Iron Man suit. Not trusting one another, they divide the pieces: helmet, gauntlets, boots, and chest-piece.

What follows is an interesting exploration of friendship among lower-class losers. One uses the gauntlets to gain revenge and plot crimes, while another uses the boots to fly around and rescue people. Of course, the suit belongs to someone, and they don't waste much time trying to get it back. The four friends have to deal with a guy in another suit, and the fact that the cops (not to mention an ex-girlfriend and a controlling mother) are adding to the pressure they face.

It's clear that the series was cut off before its intended ending; a subplot with four more people in suits doesn't go anywhere, but Tischman was able to arrive at some form of resolution to his story.

Tischman really infused the comic with the personality of Philadelphia, it's setting. There are digressions about Philly Cheesesteaks and the giant Claes Oldenberg sculpture of a clothespin.

The big draw to this book for me is the art by Green II. His work on Marvel's Star-Lord title really caught my eye, as did his later work on Iron Fist. His work is a little rougher here, but his characters are quite emotive, and his background and landscape work is superb. I like his Geof Darrow meets Moebius sensibility, matched by the slightly washed-out colours of Brian Haberlin. Green draws some of the most visually interesting utility poles I've ever seen in comics.... The first two covers were drawn by Tomer Hanuka, and the remaining ones by Green. With such strong visuals, I'm surprised I didn't pick up the comics when they originally came out.

No comments: