Review: The Fly: Outbreak #1

This is certainly an interesting first issue.  Other than one seemingly random bondage scene that I couldn’t really figure a place for it was straight forward unlike IDW’s other offering I read this week: Millennium.  After reading Millennium I’m hyper aware of IDW’s storytelling and I desperately want it to make sense.  This does make sense so it gets credit for that. It’s a pretty straightforward concept building off the movie Fly 2.  Which was the mediocre sequel to the excellent remake of The Fly starring Jeff Goldblum.  We get closure on the Bartok story from the film where Martin Brundle (our protagonist) uses the evil Bartok to become human at the expense of Bartok’s humanity.  This picks up with Martin trying to cure Bartok using the telepods that are the movies trademark.  What instead happens is that he further mutates Bartok and Bartok gets loose in the facility causing chaos.  Bartokfly is eventually killed spreading his transgenic disease and they are put into quarantine.

FLY01_cvrIt’s an interesting premise and I’m curious to see what happens with it.  Will it be a Walking Dead, post-apocalyptic scenario where they have to overcome fly-mutants to survive?  Will it be a more personal tale of overcoming disease?  Some kind of medical thriller?  Body horror?  There are a lot of options right now that interest me as a fan of the movies.

I do want to mention the art though.  The art is very detailed when it comes to people.  Everyone looks very nice and the ones based on actors look like who they’re supposed to.  But this seems to come at the expense of the backgrounds which are sparse and minimalist.  It makes the characters feel totally disconnected from the environment and, while pretty, it’s not very dynamic.  Even in the action scenes this feels like a gallery of beautiful portraits more than panels telling me a story.Some people might be into this art, it’s not really my thing.  That’s why I rarely comment on art.  I can’t draw so who am I to tell someone else they can or cannot draw?  I CAN write so I feel much more confident criticizing writing and storytelling.  The bottom line is that the art was a distraction for me and made it harder to get into the story.  As technically amazing as it is, and it is clearly well made art by a talented artist, it didn’t do much for me here in this context.

I kind of prefer my comic art to be invisible at worst and enhancing at best.  I don’t know if that makes sense but to use two excellent Image examples: Postal’s art is invisible in a good way, it doesn’t add or subtract from my experience but the words are what connects me to that world more than the art.  Big Man Plan’s is invisible but it enhances the story, it makes me feel more a part of that world than the words do.  This art pulls me away from the story and takes away from the words ability to draw me into it.  That might just be me and I want to stress that I think the art is well done, it just didn’t work, for me, in conjunction with this story.  In another context maybe.  Would I want to own menton3’s art?  Absolutely.

If you are interested in The Fly then you could do worse than this book but if you haven’t seen the movies then viewing them is mandatory.  The ‘Previously On…’ doesn’t give you nearly enough information and without the context from the movies you’ll be hard pressed to figure it all out through context.  But look at it this way, it gives you a reason to watch a great movie where Jeff Goldblum uses vomit to fight crime and another pretty standard late 80’s action/sci-fi movie.

Score: 3/5

The Fly: Outbreak #1 Writer: Brandon Seifert Artist: menton3 Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/18/15 Format: Mini-Series; Digital/Print