By Dustin Cabeal
James Robinson is a writer that I want to like. I continue to try his titles out and over and over I come away not wanting to read more. I’m to the point that I feel that I should read his classic DC material and just decide once and for all if he’s a writer I want to continue reading. And it’s not because he’s a bad writer.
In fact, I really enjoyed reading Grand Passion in the sense that the dialogue was believable didn’t overcrowd the story. The narration at times was off-putting in the sense that I didn’t know who the hell was narrating, but other than that it was enjoyable to read or at the very least, not difficult to read.
The issue I had with Grand Passion was that the sum of its parts was unbelievable and strange. I’m going to spoil the issue for you because this is the only thing the issue does. I imagine that it’s already been solicited with this info, but in case it hasn’t, consider yourself warned.
The first issue sets up a law enforcement officer falling in love with a criminal and vice versa. The kicker is that they each kill the other’s partner, but our female criminal lives by a code that her father taught her and so she must kill the cop… that she fell in love with at first sight. And she tells us this, out loud, while driving. Let me state that again for the record; while driving, crying about her dead partner/lover, she admits to herself that she’s in love… but that she’s gotta kill him.
Now, I’m sure for some readers they were like, “Wow, that’s crazy, I gotta read more.” For me, I agree about the crazy part. Sure, I’m going to give this at least another issue, but the set up for this premise is a bit maddening. The issue spends a lot of time setting up this encounter between the two and I didn’t feel as if I knew them any better at the end of the issue than I did at the beginning. I had one factoid about each of them, and that was about it.
The art has rich backgrounds that bring the world to life. I swear backgrounds are the most underrated element of comic books. I point this out first because Tom Feister illustrates a lot in each panel and solid proportions, intelligent layouts and a lot of fine details make this book good looking. The only issue I had was that sometimes the cop’s face was inconsistent. Never on the same page, but overall spread throughout the issue it would vary. Otherwise, though, this is a good looking comic.
This is by no means a bad issue, but it was missing the special something I needed to grab me. Sure the WTF ending will bring me back for another issue, but I will fully admit that it’s out of morbid curiosity and nothing more. For me, morbid curiosity dries up the quickest, so I hope that the next issue has something to hook me. Outside of the ending, this issue played it too safe and ultimately a little boring.
Grand Passion #1
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Tom Feister
Publisher: Dynamite Comics