Writer – J. Michael Straczynski // Artist – Sid Kotian
Straczynski may have been the man that created the amazing TV series Babylon 5 and he seems to have a very large list of accolades next to his name but this story was not very attention grabbing. Minis that are 5 or less issues generally do not have much room for the story and characters to breath. They tend to feel rushed or the pace is so slow you wonder how the book could possibly become exciting or engaging. This book encapsulates many of the problems attributed to minis.
We are introduced to Allison, a private investigator who specialises in stopping the world from ending; it’s a speciality that has been passed down for generations. Al is the first female in the lineage to take on this task, it would have been her brother but she never had one.
Her first duty on the pages of this book involves stopping a giant monster known as The Eater of Worlds. The creature is quickly dispatched in a way that is meant to be comedic but sadly this book fails in that regard, a point that will be returned to.
Over the course of the book we are also introduced to Mike Rose and Max, two important people to Al. Mike Rose is a dead ex-detective who works for a committee of some sort. He presents Al with investigations to look into and through him we learn that someone is trying to open the Doorway to Hell. Max is another character we meet; he is a crazy tin-foil hat wearing prophet that tips Al on where to do her investigating. The problem with these characters is that they seem to be void of any personality and are there simply there to point Al in the right direction.
Straczynski tries to inject humour into the narrative quite frequently; you will actually be hard pressed to find a single page without a joke. Max especially seems to be used just to try and elicit a laugh out of the reader. I understand what Straczynski was going for with this story, regrettably the jokes tend to fall quite flat. By the end of the book we are introduced to her newest client, a client that is unexpected due to his unsual nature of wanting to end the world.
The art is another sour note in my eyes; at first it looks as though it may be the direct result of Sid Kotian’s line work. Viewing his blog however, one discovers that he is an incredible artist; there is post after post of amazing character drawings, uncoloured panels and landscapes. Granted, Kotian has some troubles keeping facial detail identical across various panels but ultimately the art is brought down by colourist Bill Farmer. Farmer has done other great works in the past on the colour side with titles like The Goon and The Darkness. Unfortunately the end result in this book is that Farmers colours clash with Kotian’s line work. A positive is that Kotian presents the panels in many varied ways so there is no stagnancy in that regard which keeps the eye entertained.
If you are interested in the supernatural and are in the mood to read something mildly humorous, you may as well give this a read, you never know it might actually surprise you.