Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Review - The Overman #1

   Returning to the Guest Review spot is Lyle Tucker, who kindly offered to join the team covering while Chuck takes a short break.

   The Overman #1, Image Comics, December 2007. Written by Scott Reed, drawn by Shane White.

   The year is 2135. The story begins in the rainy backwoods of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Our ostensible hero, Nathan Fisher - who seems to be a private detective - approaches an abandoned shack at three in the morning with gun drawn. Telling us his story in the past tense, he lets us know that when he broke into this cabin he set into motion the sequence of events that will end the world. It appears that he did so unwittingly.

   Inside he finds a complicated, cocoon-like machine large enough for a man to slip into. It's apparently been illegally re-fitted for some nefarious purpose. Our hero puts his gun into his overcoat, takes the coat off, and prepares to enter this machine, letting us know that the machine communicates in some symbiotic fashion with its occupant, causing him some nausea before he even enters. Once in the synthetic womb, the device covers him in an unsettling mixture of mechanical / organic feelers, and our hero tells us that the greatest teaching machine in history took over his mind at that point.

   The story now shifts radically to the doings of an extremely powerful family-run tech business called OMAKON, which has some dealings on the moon, presumably tied in with this end-of-the-world business. The connection between our hero and this organization will be the stuff of later issues.

   Scott Reed has written a first issue that has intrigued me enough to look into further installments. Shane White's art is quite good, capturing something of a cross between Darwyn Cooke and Steve Rude, but a couple of the main characters come off as too-cartoony in comparison with others, and I've never been a fan of that kind of cross-pollination (think: Buz Sawyer – Crane's art was impeccable but McSweeney belonged to a different visual universe than Buz's).

Grade: B-


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