Review: The White Queen #1

Three things come to mind when I read this.  First: Zenescope’s covers make me feel weird.  In my pants area.  The second:  It seriously took three fucking people to write this? And finally: This is clearly not meant for me. Since the first is self-evident let’s talk about the second point.  Troy Brownfield is credited as “Writer” but he, along with the other two, are credited as “Story”.  I don’t know what that means.  If I were to guess, the three of these people are responsible for creating a larger narrative and that Troy Brownfield is responsible for this individual narrative.  It makes me want to ask the question: who is the weak link here?  The story is bad.  Its rote, its genre, its cliché and none of it in a good or entertaining or interesting way.

I would spoil the crap out of this for you so you don’t have to read it but there’s nothing to spoil.  Really, reading the “Story So Far…” refresher is all you need to know about what’s happening.  The concept is just buried in cliché, the main character, who is good, is forced to do bad because someone she loves has been kidnapped.  There you go, you don’t need to read this now.

Everything else is stilted, over-serious dialogue, bloody violence and ill-defined super power usage.  I learned nothing from first page to last page about anyone or anything.  Everything that was true in the refresher was true at the cliffhanger.  The only good thing I can say about this is the art is crisp.  It’s decent art with one really solid character design in Joy “The Dark Queen’s Psychotic Lapdog”.  Sure, she’s a Harley Quinn rip-off but she’s a COOL LOOKING Harley Quinn rip off.

All of that leads me to my third point.  This is clearly not meant for me.  It’s obviously part of a larger narrative using established characters and maybe this all makes sense in that context.  Maybe if I knew who these people are and what they’re doing and where they’re doing it I might be able to derive some enjoyment out of it.  As it is the storytelling falls in that awkward place of over-explaining things for new readers while using, what I assume, are established concepts for long time readers.  It creates this weird middle ground where I’m bored by the wooden, expository dialogue but I can’t imagine there’s anything interesting for the people who know everything that’s happening because it just feels so explain-y.  So by trying to appeal to both audiences I can’t help but feel they alienate them both.

WhiteQueen_AOD_01_cover BThere is nothing here for anyone.  I really try to find good things about creative works because it’s fucking HARD to be creative and I don’t want to be the asshole that tears other peoples stuff down for no reason.  That’s why most of my reviews range from middle to positive.  Most things fall into that range for me.  Not this though, there is just something about it that rubs my rhubarb the wrong way and you never want to rub rhubarb the wrong way.  Never.  Go ahead and try, try rubbing rhubarb the wrong way, it won’t be pleasant for you or the rhubarb.  I hope you like that rhubarb bit because it’s the most entertaining thing I got out of this book.

I don’t know what it is that makes me so mad but this actually makes me mad.  I was grinding my teeth as I read it.  There’s just something about it that offends me.  It’s nothing I can put my finger on but I could just rail on this book.  If I could this entire review would be a guttural scream that built into a blood curdling, ear piercing crescendo.  My final paragraph would be me wiping my feces on the wall.  I don’t mind cliché’, I really don’t.  Everything ever has been written and there’s a reason cliché’ works but this, this is everything wrong with cliché’.  It’s just drenched in mid 90’s grim and gritty nihilism as well as just the basest, lowest common denominator plot.  It feels lazy and there’s nothing I hate more than lazy.

If I could give this a negative one-million I would.  Even if you paid me in gold plated sex I wouldn’t return for issue two.  I would sacrifice any person on the world if it meant I could un-read this and un-make this.  It is a black hole of time, creativity and intelligence from which nothing good can escape.  It’s bad is what I’m saying.  Do not read it unless, for some reason, you are super into the broader narrative and you just need to know what happens with the White Queen.  But since this story takes place between two story arcs, according to the “Story So Far…”, you probably already know what happened.  This is the Ravenholm of comics and we don’t go to Ravenholm.

Score: WTF

Writer: Joe Brusha/Ralph Tedesco/Troy Brownfield Artist: Luca Claretti Colorist: Leonardo Paciarotti Publisher: Zenoscope Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/4/15 Format: Mini-Series (1 of 3); Print/Digital