By Dustin Cabeal
The premise for The Re-Creation Project is what grabbed my attention. The planet has come under attack from aliens, and the world’s messiah is a retired rapper. Unfortunately, the first issue fails to do much with that premise.
The first several issues set up the alien invasion and the destruction of earth with our Messiah Rapper for some reason just ghosting around and watching everything go down. After the prologue, we’re formally introduced to Messiah… whose name is also now his job title. We get the lay of the land that being that a group of survivors is living in a hotel of sorts and there’s a makeshift army. Messiah has a lady he’s getting with, and she receives a ton of flak from every other character in the comic. There’s a mini-showdown with the aliens, and we meet one that is dressed like a hipster scientist, glasses and all.
Before I get to the writing, I’m going to tackle the art. If the story tells me that there’s only Cool Ranch Doritos, you better fucking color the bag to look like Cool Ranch Doritos. Not Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch. I was instantly bothered by this because it tells me that someone along the way wasn’t paying attention and that the details got dropped. And it wouldn’t be a big deal if these chips weren’t featured in six panels back to back. There’s an entire panel dedicated to him pouring the chips into his mouth.
The rest of the art isn’t terrible. The characters are illustrated well, the action and violence are decent, but the backgrounds are empty or flat looking and lack a lot of detail. At one point a character slams a door, there’s no sense of movement (no matter how hard the letterer tried) and the TV and dresser look painted on the wall. They have no dimension to them.
As for the writing, the story isn’t bad, but Messiah narrates more than he talks, which is strange. His narration is always somewhere else talking about himself or this or that. In the present, he doesn’t feel present. Especially when a woman he obviously has some feelings for is slut shamed over and over… and over. It happens twice in one scene, and he doesn’t reply or even try to calm things down. Granted, I don’t know much about his character, but if this is how his character would act… then I’m not interested.
The premise is an interesting one. People talking about how they used to listen to his music and that he used to be good is a new aspect to add to this style of story. It’s just not enough to carry the story, and that’s what it feels like it’s being asked to do. Only one character is likable; the rest could honestly be killed by the aliens and I would be fine with it, Messiah included. The aliens plan could be cool but seems half-brained at the moment. It’s an interesting premise, but not a great comic book, and for that reason, I’ll likely skip the rest of the series.
The Re-Creation Project #1
Writer: Brian Hawkins
Artist: Morgan Sawyer
Letterer: Micha Myers
Publisher: Alterna Comics