By Ben Snyder
Analog #1 does a lot of things well, but none exceptional. It has humor littered throughout its pages, uncanny contemporary social and technological commentary, and it even resembles classic noir films at specific points. However, it seems that at this point writer Gerry Duggan and artist David O’ Sullivan are missing an element to truly set them over the edge into greatness.
Duggan is known for his successful arcs on more comical Marvel stories such as Deadpool, Uncanny Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy and he brings the humor to Analog as well. Protagonist Jack McGinnis reads like a toned down Deadpool with his self-effacing, self-deprecating, and situational wit. It also helps that we know there is a reason why Jack is so defensive. In this regard, Duggan does a really good job of weaving together the past storyline with the present one with minimal confusion as the switching of the timeline is directly related to McGinnis’s mood.
However, he can come off a bit one-note. We know he is hiding from his actions in the past, but it doesn’t feel like he is even capable of experiencing a broad range of emotion. Perhaps this is due to him getting the living S*** kicked out of him this issue or O’Sullivan’s art, but I fear that Duggan may lean too heavily into making Jack too funny. As much as I love Deadpool (and I really really do) I don’t want another one.
Perhaps the aspect of this story that interests me most in this story is the world. In the world of Analog the cloud in which all of our collective data resides has crashed and it is all public. There are no more secrets besides the ones that Jack protects. I love how Duggan depicts the varying sides of it and the social reaction to this pulling back of the curtains. And fascinating characters habituate the world of Analog, especially Jack’s father, who it seems Jack got much of his personality from (minus the paranoia).
Something needs to be said of the coincidental inclusion of the character Oppenheimer and his eery similarity to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the wake of recent allegations. Especially when Oppenheimer openly admits to altering the election for the Russians in 2018. This has to be unplanned as original story planning for Analog must have taken place months in advance, however it does seem fascinatingly timely. And Oppenheimer reads much more like a typical villain than Zuckerberg.
David O’ Sullivan’s art reminds of an brighter and more cartoonish take on Sean Murphy’s. It’s still adequate but it is clearly emulating Murphy’s stout, muscular faces and expressionist attention to detail, but Murphy is so exceptional in that he is able to detail such intense emotion when his characters break/ go insane. I don’t think that O’Sullivan’s characters have that capability. Most of their faces look like poorly made clay sculptures.
The colors by Jordie Bellaire also add to much clarity. I also think this story is a little to bright and needs to be toned down more in order to highlight it’s classic noir roots. Perhaps then more of it’s jokes would land as they would contrast the foreboding environment.
Analog #1 isn’t a horrible comic, in many ways it is actually above standard fare. I love the world Gerry Duggan, David O’ Sullivan, and Jordie Bellaire have created and I am heavily interested in the characters existing in it. But there are certain details that need to be refined if this series is ever to achieve something stellar.