Fraction #2

A comic review article by: Jason Sacks
This comic has a really weird vibe. It's almost a comedy, almost an action drama with buddies, and by the end, almost a super-hero title. It has an odd sort of rhythm to go with the vibe, kind of loose and disjointed but with a common beat that flows through everything. Mostly Fraction is a pretty unique look at super-powers.

In the first issue we met four old buddies who got together and broke into a storage locker for kicks. To their surprise, inside the locker is a super-suit, with a helmet, boots, gloves and chestplate. The group divide up the suit and go their merry ways. This issue follows each guy as they go back to their working class lives in Philadelphia. One guy stops by his ex-wife's house, one finally gets a chance to get revenge on the guy who beat him when he was a kid, one just wants to read porno mags all day, and one actually performs a heroic act.

It's a pretty clever comic with one really funny sequence, but the pieces don't quite all add up. The story feels diffuse. Maybe it's because this book is written for a collection, but the pieces don't really add up to a completely coherent story. It doesn't help that Timothy Green's art seems just a little unpolished. There are moments when it's wonderful, but others where peoples' bodies don't quite fit together - he has an odd tendency to draw torsos too short - and he has an annoying tendency to draw abstract geometric shapes as backgrounds instead of real objects.

I understand from Anthony Johnston's column that this book is already cancelled, two issues into its run. Boom, just like that, done. I had heard that DC had the Focus line of comics on a longer leash, that they would allow them to build up sales over time. Of course, the recent history of comics mostly goes against that theory. Very few comics actually go up in sales over time, even the ones that are highly acclaimed or extremely popular. Usually just the opposite happens, and books slide downhill month after month. So my assumption is that DC sale the low sales figures for Fraction #1, even more anaemic sales for #2, and decided to cut their losses while they could. Fraction and its partner title Touch are gone according to Johnston, while the more critically acclaimed Hard Time and Kinetic are still ongoing, at least for now.

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