Thursday, March 15, 2007

Grifter & Midnighter #1 Review

Two of Wildstorm's top-guns collide in this six issue mini-series.

I am a HUGE Grifter fan. I don't know what it is about the character but he is just awesome. Now, that being said, I had really been looking forward to Wildstorm's Grifter & Midnighter mini-series. The only other Grifter book on the shelves is the main WildC.A.T.S. title (which has been months in-between issues) and I wanted more of the masked assassin's comics to read. Grifter & Midnighter had the potential to fill that void. Unfortunately the premier issue didn't give the best first impression.

One of my complaints with this first book is the writing. Chuck Dixon has really been around the block when it comes to comics, and usually does a fairly decent job, but this issue felt really cheesy and dull. Most of the dialogue spoken between characters are throwaway one-liners and cliche phrases that don't even apply to the scene. The story is a very simple one but it's handled in an extremely messy fashion. Plot points are convoluted and sloppy and Dixon molds the characters flat as paper, making it hard to care for them or the conflict at hand. I felt myself gagging reading some of the material in this issue and I was tempted to put the book down at times, eventually gaining enough courage to force my way through it.

Another problem I have with the book is that Grifter is nowhere to be found. The character gets a few panels here and there but is generally absent from the issue. Even in the five or so pages where we see him, he's just chilling at a table. What's cool about that? I want to see Grifter rocking the socks off of some baddies, not taking a lunch break. I guess they are just saving the guy for later issues, building the reader's anticipation for the character.

One highlight of the issue though is the art. Ryan Benjamin does a fairly good job with the characters he's given and manages to bring life to the otherwise static scenes with his expressions and gestures. Hopefully this guy gets hired to do a big project after this mini-series because I really like his stuff so far.

The first issue of Grifter & Midnighter was a letdown. While the art is good, the writing of Chuck Dixon is piss-poor, reminding me of a really bad B-movie. The issue is also all about Midnighter and, while he is a cool character, I'd much rather have the spotlight focused on Grifter.

Am I being too harsh with this opinion on the book? Tell me what you think, post a comment.


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