This is the latest Vertigo Crime graphic novel and it's, well... at least it's readable. The story involves Joe Ullen, a former hockey star who returns to his hometown after his old high school girlfriend dies under mysterious circumstances. In addition to dying under mysterious circumstances, she's also named him the executor of her will which leads him to reconnect with a lot of old characters and dig up some secrets as well. I've never heard of writer Jon Evans before this, but he makes a serviceable debut as a comic book writer. His plot twists and turns in ways both surprising, and (at least) pleasing in their familiarity. What he lacks is any real style or flair to make his characters and dialogue stand out on the page. Artist Andrea Mutti is similarly capable, though his characters' body language comes off as awkward in places, and his art suffers from the fact that it was obviously meant to be in color rather than black and white. Though I also liked his use of Native Americans and their reservation as a setting, it also served to remind me of a much better book from Vertigo, Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera's "Scalpled," which does it in a much more interesting fasion (it's sixth volume "The Gnawing" also came out last week).
May 28, 2010