Typically, my favorite books are the ones that operate on the fringes of their respective universes. While there's some merit to the talent on the bigger books, I find that those fringe books are the ones that chances are really taken and real change can take place. This week, I had roughly four of those types of books come out (along with some bigger books), but only one really took those said chances. Which one am I talking about? Come check me after the title and find out.
Not Your Ordinary Teen Book:
Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Hands down, this is one of the most baffling, challenging books I've read in a long time. Ostensibly, it's a book about an underground, neo Teen Brigade, but in practice it's much more... complicated.
I'll be totally honest with you, I had no idea what was going on the first time I read this issue. It's so dense and obtuse, it borders on incoherence. On a second read, in sequence with the previously released issues, the book begins to make more sense, but not much more. I don't mean that in a bad sense, more that there's an ongoing mystery that, three issues in, they haven't revealed the major aspects of, but things are building to... something.
The weirdness of Joe Casey aside, what brings me back to this book is the stellar art from Nick Dragotta. A weird mix of Marcos Martin and Frank Quitely, with a dash of Steve Ditko, he imbues the characters with a classic look focused through a modern day lens. His line work is creative, clean, and perfectly suited for the material.
I honestly don't know what to think about this one. On the one hand, it's reliance on big trippy visuals and its heady plot mean it's definitely not for everyone. On the other, there's something about it that just intrigues me. For how whacked out all the ideas are, the book is very firmly planted in the Marvel Universe and adds a juicy new layer to everything.
I can't in good conscious give this book a full on approval, but I can't give it a bad review either. In the end, it'll come down to execution. So far, I'm down for the ride, I'll let you know how it works out.
Hopefully I survive the experience. See you next week.