Current Reviews


Case Files: Sam and Twitch #19

Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2005
By: Ariel Carmona Jr.

Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: E.J. Su
Colorist: Jay Fotos

Publisher: Image Comics

Plot: Sam and Twitch are imprisoned in an abandoned sub-basement while on the track of the legendary Chu Lai. After finding the corpse of Chu Lai, the pair are almost ambushed by a walking corpse. They then lead Lo’s sisters upstairs through a locked door only to find, Chu Lai?? Huh?? After a prolonged battle in which Sam gets injured, the mysterious figure is revealed to be a mystery guy! Before the mystery adversary can finish them off he is gunned down by Lo’s grieving sister. The end.

Comments: I was never the biggest fan of Sam and Twitch when they were secondary characters in the Spawn mythos. Mostly I thought they were rehashed from superior influences but they served their purpose there, and I guess they were popular enough to warrant their own comic book which is supposed to be a mix of comedy and hard boiled detective cases. It’s subtitled “Hard-edged crime fiction.” Despite a cool cover in which the titular duo stand flanking a giant police badge, I didn’t really care much for this flawed comic. Despite some semi cool mostly black and white and gray toned pages, the book is so much fluff and though this was apparently the final chapter of a six issue arc, and admittedly I did not read the preceding five chapters, nothing in this one made me want to jump out and grab the other five, which is not a good sign.

Part of the problem is in the writing and the pacing of the book. This was disappointing considering Marc Andreyko’s superb writing on DC’s Manhunter book. Most of this comic is a prolonged fight with Chu Lai, or her son, or whoever the heck it was these bumbling cops were supposed to be pitted against. Frankly, most of the characters are dull and their reactions are equally bland. Consider a two page spread in which the villain jumps out, clutching swords in both hands. What is Twitch’s reaction to having to confront this dangerous enemy? “I’m so confused,” he utters, in reference to the fact Chu Lai’s corpse was found in the book’s opening. That would confuse me too, but I would not stop to think about it a second before said enemy was about to slice and dice me. Yet, both Sam and Twitch’s reactions to facing their possible demise are subdued, which gives the reader the impression they are confident they will get out of it somehow, which of course they will, but it’s hardly realistic and highly boring. The fact the two characters care about each other does come across, as it does in most cop “buddy” movies, but it’s not enough of a redeeming point to save this story. There is another scene pivotal to the plot in which the villain is gunned down and tumbles to his death which is reminiscent of some of the worst Manga I have read in the past. It’s so generic, it almost made me wretch. The story ends but the conclusion is a bit confusing, if not thoroughly anti climatic. I can say I was more entertained by the “Legends of Football” capsules advertising McFarlane’s new football toys immediately following the main narrative.

Final Word: I like Spawn comics, even if McFarlane hasn’t drawn them in years. I didn’t like this one at all. Unless you’re a real fan of the characters, or an avid collector who doesn’t want holes in his/her collection, I would skip this turkey altogether.

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