In my last review I took it easy on this book. I liked the art and the concept was interesting. There were plenty of problems, but one problem it didn’t have was the comic book obsession of the origin story. So often new series spend their entire opening run explaining how everything came to be and it’s frankly boring shit. I think of things like Mind MGMT, Revival, hell even Saga that just started and catch the reader up on the back story as it becomes relevant to the present storyline. This obsession that so many comic creators have on explaining the origin of their character and essentially their idea… is just lazy and uninteresting. BUT, this series didn’t do that in the first issue… well it sure as hell did with this second issue. This second issue not only feels like a complete shift in story, but it blows open all of the apparent problems for the first issue and just makes them glaring. The biggest problem is that the story seems to “understand” how Hollywood works, but this notion is based on how “behind the scene” movies have shown it. Essentially Hollywood’s own take on how they function. Sure it’s a work of fiction so to an extent you can just base your knowledge of Hollywood off of movies, but at the same time it comes across as un-researched and ridiculous.
What’s worse is that I can’t tell if this is intentional or just bad writing. There’s a scene in which Richie and his friend buy Scarface suits and go to join the mafia. His friend thinks he’s an idiot after he realizes that he’s serious and yet that’s how this entire book is! You feel like the story is an idiot because it does other things like this, but takes itself serious.
The gist of the issue is that we see how Richie became a psycho when he murders an old ladies cat with his bare hands in front of her, just yards away from his mother. He then goes through his mafia phase and we see him actually join the mafia while wearing his Scarface suit… but only if he goes to college. In the present the FBI convinces him to work for them and bring down the mafia in Hollywood (which runs the entertainment industry still if you didn’t know, not the sarcasm) by showing him his family tree.
Yeah if you saw any of that coming after the way the first issue started than you’re paying more attention than I am because there wasn’t a hint or a trace of the story going this way. Also I guess we’ll never learn how exactly that car crash scene happened huh?
It’s not a pleasant shift because the hook of the story was “child actor turned assassin hit-man”, but now it’s “child actor, turned mafia, turned assassin hit-man, turned mafia again as a double agent for the FBI… because of his family tree.” What a mouth full.
The art is still the best part of the comic, but even Ariel Olivetti can’t save this story. He does what he can and I believed everything he illustrated even if it was utterly ridiculous.
Needless to say I won’t be back for the next issue. I’d love to make some pun involving the title, but really I’d just like to forget about this series all together.
Score: 2/5 (Because of the art)
Writer: Fabrice Sapolsky Artist: Ariel Olivetti Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 3/26/14