REVIEW: The Rook #4

Writer: Steven Grant
Artist: Paul Gulacy
Colorist: Jesus Aburto

Time travel.  Man, time travel always give me headaches!

Restin Dane has a bit of a quandary on his hands, on the trail of a Morlock he runs into a couple of characters who are more than a little familiar.  Of course, this being a fish out of time story, there are a couple of complications, in the shape of a returning big bad and a quest for a second time machine a la H. G. Wells.

Steven Grant has written an odd story.  There are parts that I want to like; the Detective elements for example; but there are more things that kind of annoy me.  The computerised voice in the time ship, the need to fill the book with literary characters in order to give the book some traction.  Script wise, its pretty much the same with clichéd comments that just sound trite and tired.

Paul Gulacy provides the art for the book, which also seems a tad lacklustre.  Now, I am a big fan of Gulacy and it is more than disappointing to see someone’s work, that used to have clean lines, that used to scream cinematics and embolden storytelling, seemingly decline.  There is a good mix of page layouts, with a panels structured in a way to help move things along, but where is the style, the structure of good character frames?  The book is coloured by Jesus Aburtov who produces a competent scheme, which I would expect in todays digital color world.

If I sound like I am being harsh, its due to disappointment.  Go back and look up Batman Legends of the Dark Knight story Prey (issues #11-15 or TPB), or go even futher back and look up Master of Kung-Fu from the 70’s.  That’s the Paul Gulacy I remember, that’s the Paul Gulacy I want to see.  Unfortunately, it seems that the only way I get that particular wish is if I find Dane’s Time Castle.

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