Saturday, 19 September 2009

Flip The Page Review: Nomad - Girl Without A World #1 (of 4)

So... It's here. I've made it quite clear that Nomad: Girl Without A World has been my most anticipated book of the year. So much so that if this had the slightest flaw I'd be crestfallen in my non-stop boot licking of it.

So has it lived up to my expectations? Well..... Yes. Yes it has. BUT! And it's a big but, it does have flaws. Hefty ones at that. As such this review will probably consist of me switching from loving purrs to demented screaming with each passing moment.

I'm not sure what I could say about Rikki Barnes and how much I like her character that I haven't gotten across in my rampant fanboyism these past few months. The only thing I can add is I'm not a fan of ANY Heroes Reborn material. I mean it's weak, awful and just a lame retelling of silver age Marvel comics. Through all of that crap very little shone. Rikki was one of those things. Later on into it she continued to look more and more awesome, from Onslaught Reborn (lame) to Thunderbolts (fucking awesome!), with nothing that could stop her rampage through my list of favourite comic book characters. Her appearance in Cap #600 cemented that and whet my anticipation for any future appearances and then some. So I'm pretty fucking stoked about all of this and especially at the concept of more her. But enough of that, let's talk about the creative team a bit.

I admit to having to do a fair amount of research here. I mean outside of some okay Blue Beetle work I can't say I've ever heard of penciller David Baldeon and can't find any other reason that I should have. A bit of poking around Marvel's catalog reveals he's also drawn two random issues of some Marvel Adventures titles so you can understand it when I say that the man needs A LOT MORE PRACTISE. I mean Baldeon can draw Rikki really well and THAT... IS... IT. Every other character (save perhaps Cap's small appearance and the mystery monster thing) just looks poor. Not terrible, but far from noteworthy. REALLY FAR. I can only hope he improves over the next 3 issues.

Writer Sean McKeever is slightly more familiar territory, having written Teen Titans (which a lot of people wish he hadn't written), Young Inhumans (which I don't much care for), a Gravity limited series (which I've never heard of) and some crap from Countdown to Final Crisis (which... OH SH-


Fuck me that isn't a series you'd want to be connected to! That's almost like saying you played a part in... not the holocaust... Something awful but not so bad it'd be beyond belief... I guess that'd be the creation of Twilight would be a similar case for this analogy... *ahem* where was I?

So yeah McKeever doesn't have a good history and that changes here. This is strong stuff despite how basic it can be at times. Not ground-breaking but certainly some of the best I've seen this year.

Finally I've gotta point out the awesome colours by Chris Sotomayor, who it seems has coloured a lot of vibrant pretty stuff I've read, from Lockjaw & The Pet Avengers (PRETTY!) to Dark Reign: Young Avengers (PRETTY!) and She-Hulk (PRETTY!) and even Skaar: Son of Hulk (PRE- oh you get the idea!). This is no exception, providing the sort of rich art that keeps your eyes focused on the page, something that all those miserable grimy looking CG-painted comics should well keep in mind.

Done with that? Okay moments time!

Lesson 1 in making a series look buyable, Marvel: DON'T REMIND THEM OF SHITTY OLD STUFF! Seriously how they decided that having ANYTHING Heroes Reborn-looking in the book was a good idea is beyond me. Sure some of you would clip me round the ear and say 'it's just a credits page, get over it' but this is... ugh... awful. Looks awful, reminds me of awful things.

That and "Guiding Lights: Loeb and Liefeld"? Pretentious much?

2. Strangely Hot?/YESYESYESYES
I've brought this up before but I must again; Rikki looks weirdly good doing her exercise stuff here. I guess when you're drawing someone with a slightly muscular build you have to know how to make 'em look good maintaining it. Just a tiny detail but I stopped and took note of it flippin' through so it's worthy of being mentioned in the review. Also her excitement at the police report is a brilliant little moment. Or perhaps I'm obsessing too much now.

3. Awesome Layouts 101
There's not much I can say here again, as I'm basically pointing out things that are awesome on a basic level, with no need for an increased insight. This is just a brilliant page layout, with my focus being drawn to Rikki in her little panel-in-a-panel thing and a good looking fight going on outside of that. It's all very visually pleasing and an example of how by doing something so basic you can be doing something oh so right.

4. eh....
Okay a kinda nice moment I'm sure, with Rikki's insecurities and need to meet Cap showing slightly and Black Widow sounding kind of considerate with her rejection. this would be a nice character moment if it weren't for how bitchy it seems for Black Widow to not even give BuckyCap info on who she is or that it was even a hero she was talking to... But then I just hate Black Widow nowadays so just ignore me.

5. Something Crooked WILL Happen, I Guarantee It
Rikki Barnes in the same learning institution as her alternate earth version of her brother, spending lots of time around him and not informing him he's her brother? Yeah that won't lead to an almost incestful "whoops" moment. Not at all.

6. McKeever & co.: Totally up on the trends
Okay let's look at these tops.
  • Binary Code
  • "The Dude Abides"
  • A Misfits band tee
Yeah THOSE are trendy! It's like a hopelessly out of touch old person taking guesses at what sorta things 'those kids today' like. Cringeworthy. Other notable tops include
  • ME > U
  • DOPE
  • and a Manchester United football tee

I'm also tempted to coin a new art disease known as "Daffy Face"... Not as catchy as Youngblood's Disease sadly...

7. Finally, Some Rikki Action!
2 pages of actual fighting kinda! This is probably the tiniest gripe this comic has given me, simply because I'd have liked to see more fighting. Not that I'd want anything else cut down. I'm just saying I wanted a 50-page comic. For all 4 issues. *dreams wearily*

8. RUN!
I admit this isn't a particularly cool or pretty moment or anything, just incredibly eye-catching and a brilliant reminder that heroes can actually take up a flight mentality when need be. Humanises Rikki further (we needed that?) and serves as a decent reminder to all those other comics to know that characters can feel like running off from a situation, especially if they're too injured.

9. "Nomad Eyes Only?"
And we end on an awesome reveal of a case, containing the Nomad costume for Rikki. My money's on it being left by Black Widow. I mean surely she can meet BuckyCap if she's not a Bucky herself, right? That and it'll lead to her stuff next issue with The Falcon or whatnot. Also, am I the only one noting "file: Nomad Eyes Only"? What the fuck does that mean? Do you have to already BE Nomad? Or is it saying "File: Nomad" then "eyes only", like you can look at the envelope that says Nomad but woe fucking betide you if you touch it! It's retarded is what it is!

... Wait aren't I supposed to be praising this as one of my books of the year?

And that's the comic. Sure I'm ribbing on it hard in places, but it's still a brilliant comic that just about came close to matching my expectations (that would have been understandably lower if I had researched some of the creators more thoroughly early on). It's worthy of buying and certainly looks like it will get better and better with the future solicits. So of course we come to the rating:

Flippin' MUST READ!

Next up: A review of something I never thought I'd read, followed by a newspost explaining that I'm fucking off for a while.

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