Friday, February 12, 2010

Choker #1

Written by Ben McCool
Art by Ben Templesmith

I think even with a different artist, this would feel too much like an issue of Fell. Ben McCool (whose name keeps getting tossed around like it should be familiar - maybe it's a Brit thing) has started this new series at Image, and he owes Warren Ellis at least a drink, if not more. The book is about Johnny Jackson, a disgraced and discarded police detective in Shotgun City, who has been doing the PI thing for the last few years, until he is given an opportunity by his former boss to return to the force; all he has to do is track down an escaped drug dealer he had put away the first time around.

The set-up is familiar from tons of futuristic neo-noir comics and movies. Shotgun City is highly reminiscent of Snowtown, Heavenside, or any other post-urban dystopian metropolis written by someone aping Ellis. There's some kind of body-modification movement, called Man Plus (don't they sell pills like that on late-night TV?) and a lot of people in wheelchairs. To be honest, the story is not doing it for me.

Templesmith's art is as good as it always is. I've really developed a liking for his style, and find that I don't think of Ted McKeever as often now when I read his work. I feel like Templesmith does his best to elevate the material here, but in the end, this is a pretty derivative piece of work. I would much rather read another issue of Fell....

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