Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Tomm Coker
It's a fight to the finish between two men who can control their pain, but not the emotions that divide them. So they beat the living hell out of each other, until one of them is dead.
Ellis leaves the plot at home this month in order to concentrate on a continuous stream of violence between two characters we've never seen before. This in itself makes it a bit hard to get into if you're interested in character work. Even the usual Ellis shortcuts to character definition are left behind. We get a set-up, we get "superviolence", and then we move on to whatever other books we bought this week. Granted, the violence IS pretty super, what with eye-gouging, crotch-kicking, stabbings and gunshots, and whatever else Ellis could think of. There's just not much else to look at story-wise. There are some fun moments, no doubt, but due to the restraints of the Global Frequency style of storytelling, not much else is allowed to happen, and the end result is never really in question.
Artistically, this month's player is Tomm Coker, who does a very nice job with the heavily shadowed realism, but drops the ball a few times when it comes to orchestrating action sequences. Since we don't get an introduction to the characters by Ellis, everything relies on Coker's ability to establish who's who and what is going on. At first I wasn't sure who I was supposed to be rooting for, but it became pretty clear as the fight went on. Overall, I was disappointed and found the fight hard to keep track of. At the same time, the violence is brutal and looks like it hurts, so maybe I just need to pay more attention. But I doubt it. I hate to add this on at the end since this is really the best part of this month's installment, but David Baron's coloring is once again top notch. His work gives this title a distinctive look and feel to help smooth over the artistic rotation. His work is much more consistent than Ellis' is on this book.
The pendulum swing of Global Frequency stories continues this month. While it is lacking in some story elements and the art can be hard to follow, it is still better than most of the stuff hitting the shelves on a regular basis. And hell, even weak Ellis is good Ellis.
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