Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fade to Black #1

Written by Jeff Mariotte
Art by Daniele Serra

I usually like Jeff Mariotte's work - specifically Desperadoes and Graveslinger, so I thought I'd give his new Shadowline mini-series a try, although I am afraid I'm a little disappointed in it.

The premise is a good one - a group of actors leave their film crew to hike through a remote desert, blocking scenes for tomorrow's shoot, and when they return, find the crew slaughtered and their vehicles damaged. Nice horror movie set-up right there. Then, we find out that they were killed by the Children of the Radiant Night, a cannibalistic cult, looking for 'the one', who is apparently among the group of surviving actors. Should be fantastic, right?

The problem is that the pacing feels a little off, and the art is quite muddy. I had to read over the first few pages a second time to realize that the characters weren't really being chased in the desert, and I felt like I was playing catch-up from the very beginning. Furthermore, there's very little in the way of character development (or even differentiation in their appearance), making it hard to care much about any of them.

I think that this could have worked a lot better with a cleaner artist and a little more editing.

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