Friday, August 6, 2010

Murderland #1

Written by Stephen Scott
Art by David Hahn

Here's the solicitation for the first issue of Murderland:
Artist DAVID HAHN joins newcomer STEPHEN SCOTT to tell a story of doomed romance, bloodshed and the outer limits of human potential, all unfolding on the "complicated" streets of Baltimore, Maryland. The Arabber is a reformed killer bent on bringing peace to his hometown. Method is his lover and partner in crime, but she may not be long for The Arabber’s crusade. The first of many genre-bending stories in the MURDERLAND universe. 
 As someone who has had all other television ruined for him by Homicide: Life on the Streets and The Wire, seeing a comic set on the streets of Baltimore, and centred around an Arabber, is immediately attractive.  However, the Arabber in this comic doesn't seem to be an Arabber (there is not a single horse or even piece of fruit in sight), and apparently the streets of Baltimore now include lush penthouses and mansions with armed guards.

The main character appears to be a girl named Method, who seems to be an assassin (or possibly a serial killer) who likes to seduce her victims before garroting them with razor wire.  She is a 'master of disguise', and might be in a relationship with our Arabber.  The two of them go to some rich guy's house (surrounded by the aforementioned armed guards), where some other dude with an eyepatch is creeping around.  Method and Eyepatch (his name is Precurseur, and they know each other) appear to have superhuman strength and agility, and Method can grow bones outside of her skin like the X-Men Marrow.  The Arabber can't be killed.

Beyond that, I have no idea what's going on.  Is this a vampire comic?  Why are we treated to so many panels showing what the old dude is watching on TV?  What are the cops at the end talking about when they talk about Sesame Street, Barney, and Howdy Doody? Why does the back cover have a barbarian bikini chick and a sabretooth tiger doing an homage to old school Coppertone ads? Am I the only one that's lost/disappointed/not that interested? 

Hahn is a capable artist, but his style is too light for this type of story.  It needs a grittier look.  And some story coherence...

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