Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: DCNew52, Grifter, JJAbrams, Lost, NathanEdmundson, swampthing, Wildstorm
For some reason I was looking forward to this comic – I had no idea why, I had no prior knowledge of the character (other than what I saw of him in some of the Flashpoint tie-ins), but there was something that was calling to me with this book that I couldn’t quite explain. Now that I’ve read it, I think I can see why – it’s almost a JJ Abrams show in comic book format…
Grifter #1 tells the tale of a con-man by the name of Cole – or it could be Christopher Argent – or both could be aliases: he is a con man after all. Cole’s on a job to con someone for something (the details of which I’m not sure will matter going forward or not) when things take a turn for the weird and he’s essentially abducted by aliens – it’s not as lame as it sounds. Plus these aren’t your little green men kinda aliens … if they are even aliens.
Essentially my first point stands, this is all very JJ-esque – from the intentional lack of information surrounding characters and plot to keep us guessing, to the flash back and forward in the sequence of events, even the fact that the con man looks like Sawyer from Lost – himself a con man too. It even throws in a scene on board a passenger aircraft for good measure. There isn’t however any reference to the number 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 or 42 that I can find. But regardless of the possible imitation of the great TV Show creator (the sincerest form of flattery after all) I loved this book, just as much as I expected to.
Yes ok, so the cover is sporting a masked ‘hero’ shooting at alien ‘bad guys’ making it look like it’s going to fall into the same category of 90% of the other DC New 52 books – but I’m inclined to think that, like Animal Man and Swamp Thing last week, this could be another great title that offers a break from the normal superhero stuff. (Which, don’t get me wrong, I love equally as much. I’m a sucker for spandex and superpowers).
After a quick perusal at Grifter’s Wikipedia page, I now know that he came from Jim Lee’s Wildstrom universe. I must say, I think what DC has done is quite near genius level – not only have they re-launched their entire range of comics to entice brand new reader’s to their comics, they’ve also managed something very clever for existing readers, like myself, too. I’ve never read a comic from the Wildstorm universe before and I’ve never read an Animal Man or Swamp Thing comic before (please don’t judge me) but now having read four such comics in two weeks, I feel compelled to go back and start absorbing as much of these comics as possible (given that I have 52+ existing monthly comics to contend with, it be might not be the best time to start). In a way, this is having a reverse effect on me from what DC said they wanted. Where they’ve tried to create a bunch of #1 comics for people who don’t need to know anything prior to reading it, I want to go out and read everything prior to it. This could just be me and my completist attitude to everything I own/read/watch….
I realise now I haven’t even mentioned the art here and If I’m totally honest, it’s neither good nor mind-blowing – but in a way it doesn’t need to be. If this is trying to tell a story in a similar way to a television show, then it shouldn’t distract you from the plot. Which it doesn’t – I certainly didn’t think about it much while reading through the first time. Going back for a second scan of the issue I can see that there’s plenty of detail in Cafu’s work – there’s not a lot to ask from him in the first issue, which contains mostly human characters in pretty normal locations, so there’s not much that can go wrong.
In summary – this will be making its way onto my monthly order – I just need to go and check now if I had it already down for issue #2!
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