By Dustin Cabeal
Bonehead was a surprisingly entertaining first issue. It was also confusing in that by the end of it, you’re unlikely to understand the lay of the land and the point of the story. Not that, that must be 100% established in the first issue, just that it was lacking a bit too much in Bonehead #1.
What I did like about it was the video game feel it had. The first half of the comic has a game tutorial feel to it. As if you’re playing the character for the first time and you need to learn the controls and game mechanics before getting to the story. It both worked and didn’t work because it’s obviously not a video game.
We do learn that our character is called “Bonehead” because of his VR helmet. It was unclear what the helmet does for him. If it was augmented reality then it wasn’t shown to the reader, which would make walking around with a VR helmet a bit confusing. Again, it’s the first issue, we have time to find out the answers that come up here.
The story itself is still confusing; Bonehead is sent out by a mad scientist guy to retrieve a drone. If he doesn’t recover it, he fails. The consequences are never established, and even though we’re told it’s impossible to do, Bonehead seems to do it just fine. He then gets involved in a street/gang fight and leaves the drone. The confusing part of this is that the drone seems essential, but then it also appears as if it was intentionally sent out to be found. It was even supposed to be impossible to find, so wouldn’t we assume it could be easily lost then? The drone is brought up a lot, but its importance I loosey-goosey at the moment. The writing isn’t bad, but the choices in the first issue aren’t the best. There’s no sense of the character, and worse, he doesn’t talk. The world is complex and not fully explained, and we’re not sure who the core group of characters are yet.
The artwork is fantastic. It’s a treat to look at from the cover to the end. It’s very detailed; the near future setting is believable and yet cool. The artwork has a video game inspired look to it, but it’s actually cool to see rather than uninspired or ridiculous. The helmets look like something people would wear, rather than bright blue spandex and yellow boots. The coloring is some of the best I’ve seen in a while from a new creator. If anything, the colors could be more vibrant, for the most part, they have a muted look to them, but its nothing I dislike, just something I want to see elevated.
Bonehead will leave you with more than a few questions. It’s not perfect, but unlike other first issues I’ve read recently, it accomplishes the task of entertaining you enough to come back for more. I’m looking forward to seeing what else this series has to offer and what other video game elements the creators can sneak into the world. While it’s unlikely to bridge the world of video games and comics, it is enjoyable for someone who likes both forms of entertainment.
Top Cow/Image Comics