Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Out of Time

Man! The hits just keep on coming! I still haven't fully gotten the word out about my first Comic Remix, featuring Avengers #500, and the good folks over at PopCultureShock have already put up the second installment, featuring Astonishing X-Men #4! Between you and me and the wall, I think that the Astonishing X-Men one is the best yet... even better than the Identity Crisis one, for which i am still receiving comments.

I know its a lot to keep track of, but the double whammy of the site posting a brand new look and the holiday weekend created the confluence of Comic Remixes. Hopefully, from here on in it will be a once-weekly occurrance. Which is good, because I hear that if you laugh too much you will die.

And yes, I have officially come up with the greatest contest in history. I am not going to announce it yet, however, because there is another contest going on around this here blogosphere that has yet to run its course. I do not wish to step on any toes here! But suffice it to say you will all have fun with this...


I really liked Mad Yak’s Subatomic, so my hopes for Texarkana were high. Well, not to belabor the point, I found Texarkana to be nowhere near as good.

The best thing about Subatomic was the beautiful coloring, and Anne Marie Horne’s coloring is also very good here. But the art that she’s been given is nowhere near as communicative as Jorge Heuffmann’s work on Subatomic. Donny Hadiwidjaja is just nowhere near as competent as it should be, considering the complexity of the story. His figures are unnecessarily elastic, his layouts are needlessly complex, and his action sequences are almost impossibly confusing. Basically, he’s in over his head, and it shows.

There is an interesting germ at the heart of the story. In an unspecified future where most of North America has been ravaged by an unspecified war, the state of Texarkana is apparently the last outpost of civilization. (As an aside, its rather interesting to regard Texas as the last outpost of anything relating to civilization, but these are merely my Blue State prejudices speaking . . .) Justice is meted out by four-person teams composed of a judge, defense attorney, prosecutor and executioner. They all carry guns and act like policemen while they’re conducting their kangaroo trials.

Its an interesting idea for satire – very similar to Judge Dread, but with a cowboy taste – but it is played unfortunately straight. There are layers of complexity relating to matters of politics and jurisdiction, but they are glossed over and questions are left unfortunately half-answered throughout. The characters themselves are woefully underdrawn, from the raw rookie straight out of the academy to the gruff and stoic veteran with a soft underbelly, to the crazy midget mastermind. There’s just nothing very interesting here at all.
As with Subatomic, the production values are high and the price ($12.95) is attractively low. But this isn’t half the book that Subatomic was, and that’s a shame.

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