Back in the day, comic companies used to have two main types of comic book covers. One type would be to show something akin to what was actually happening in the book, Batman and the Outsiders #1 is a perfect example as it shows Batman leaving the JLA to set up the Outsiders. Others would show a flashy piece of art which had absolutely nothing to do with the story at all, it was just a good piece of art. Remember the fun “Batman dies in this issue!” moniker from a few years back?
Why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with theses two books? The answer is quite simple; with a cover showing a staple to most male fantasies and the adorning title you can make no mistake to what sort of book you are getting for your buck! Sex, drugs and the impossible feature highly and graphically in this revenge, heist, murder, sexploitation two issue story. If that’s not your type of thing, then put the book back on the rack and go and find something else.
Written by Vince Brusio the story follows a gang of girls, all of whom have fallen into and suffered it seems from their time in the porn industry. They are taken in by Mother Superior, a photogenic nun according to the cover of issue 1. Mother Superior is also sough after by the U.S government whilst fighting her own battles against an evil media mogul. So simply put, there is quite a lot going on for what seems to be on the surface a T & A book. Brusio may well be trying to spin plates, but it seems that at times, he reverts to the sex gimmick as a means to distract the reader or to give them some sort of payback? Whatever the reason, the book is filled with the sort of clichéd characters doing clichéd things for clichéd reasons; the sort of thing that you would expect to find in a straight to DVD movie. That said, if that is the aim of the book, then Brusio manages that vibe well.
The art by Ivica Stretenovic is a mixed bag for me. Strong splash panels fall into smaller less detailed panels, giving some of the art a rushed and unfinished look. With this sort of book, female figure work is a key and Stretenovic manages well, seemingly getting better as the girl get more naked. There are sex scenes in the book and its is a gratuitous as the violence. I recently reviewed the excellent Sunstone another book with a lot of sex. Yet the latter is based on a genuine relatable relationship type of sex. Here, whilst I am sure that the creators will point to the relationships in book, the sex is more visceral, more for viewing pleasure. That can be disconcerting to some readers. A quick mention about the covers; as a means to promote the book, the covers are done exceptionally well. Especially the first issue which has been doing the rounds on Twitter creating quite a buzz for this series.
This series isn’t for everyone. Hell, I am not its biggest fan at all. But not every book is going to be a fan favourite or the next Watchmen. Even the last Watchmen wasn’t even “the Watchmen”. Is there a place for a book like this on the rack? The freedom of speech and the ability to express yourself pretty much guarantees that. For those who would snipe at a book like this, with it’s overtly sexual ladies being sexual in a violent manner you only need look at the cover. Brusio and crew have clearly labelled their wares and the audience for which they seek. They should be congratulated for wearing their sexy, violent, clichéd hearts on their sleeves.
Writing – 2.5 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Covers – 4 Stars
(W) Vince Brusio (A) Ivica Sretenovic (CA) Randall Lloyd