True North

113833-thumb140True North

Staff: Greg Boucher and Guillermo Hansz

Overview:

Tired concept, luke-warm execution, but still worth a read.

Review:

So I’m gonna start this with the art. It’s never outright bad, but it gets real close sometimes. An awkward perspective here, a bad shadow there, and little things are in this comic. It’s styalized I suppose, so I won’t harp on it to much but sometimes the characters are drawn a little weirdly. The lettering is pretty uninspired. It doesn’t do anything for me but it’s legible and I suppose, so it does what it needs to. It should be noted that Guillermo Hansz, the artist, has a fantastic grap of dynamic posing and frames his motion very well. You can see the understanding of anatomy in every shot he draws, despite some of the awkward posses and facial expressions (which can be really creepy…). There are also a few reused panels which I though was in poor taste (see page 21).

The story really leaves me kind of confused. Like I get the idea behind it (which has been done to death), but it all feels like someone’s attempt to cram as many “cool” characters into a story. Sure they all have personalities and whatnot, but it feels less like that is a result of genuine good writing and more because they all fit their stock superhero archetypes. You have the outsider protagonist, the tough vixen cat girl, the suave lancer, future love interest, etc. The plot is basically superheroes are outlawed and people hate them. A bar is home to a group of them and after a run in with some thugs, he joins them.

There is some real thought behind this, however it’s execution often falls flat. There is a scene where a bunch of anti-superhero skinheads are picking on a superhero and their allusion to being like Nazis is handled with all the subtlety of a brick going though a window during Kristallnacht. Some of the dialogue is handled about as well. It seems a lot like the characters are instantly familiar with each other of the get-go with some minor stock conflict to bog it down.

A kind of interesting feature is that the comic gives you music suggestions for different scenes. It’s very scream-o and, while it fits with the comic, isn’t really my flavor. You can see a lot of inspiration came from that sort of music in this comic (heck, the main character looks like he might open for one of those bands mentioned). At least their is some novelty in that.

I won’t say it’s not worth your time, it is, but sometimes I wish they had opted to go for a more polished approach. There are two blank pages at the end of the PDF which I assume are meant to be filled because the scene just kind of runs into a wall and stops. Hey… it’s free. Give it a look.

Metrics

Art: 7/10 (Sytalized, but never outright bad)

Lettering: 5/10 (No innovation but you can read it)

Plot: 4/10 (Nothing new but a decent set up)

Novelty: 5/10 (Plot is tired but at least they had that song gimmick)

Overall: 6/10

~Link to Product~

Update

After my review the publisher added the last two pages into the comic. Check it out!

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