Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Comic Wednesday Week 9 - Choker

Issue 1 of 6
by Ben Templesmith and Ben McCool
published by Image Comics

This book was a last minute addition to my DCBS order.  I had looked over the solicitation, thought it looked interesting, and figured I'd wait for the trade.  But those guys at discount comics, they know how to hook you with promised percentages off.  It was worth taking a chance on the issue.

My first worry was the book was going to be the GoBots to Fell's Transformers, a cheap imitation that had some merits but would never rise to the status of the original.  The chances were there, Templesmith did draw both books, and I had never heard of Ben McCool outside of a Choker press release.  I wasn't expecting him to be Warren Ellis, but the preview pages I had seen gave me the same feeling that Fell had.  Creepy seetings, angry, foul mouthed lead character, and a vibe that borders on a hatred for humanity.  I hoped he would distance his writing style and story enough to make me forget Fell ever existed.

But was it any good, and more importantly, did it make me want to buy the next five issues?

The main character, Johnny Jackson, is nothing special.  He's a private eye, and judging from the stack of papers on his desk, a pretty good one.  He performs a job he apparently hates, but before the issue is over, he's given a chance to get back on the police force.  The boss, another person he loathes, wants an escaped convict found, and Johnny was the man to get him in the first place.  It's an offer he jumps at, and its a good character reveal.  He actually wants to go back.

The one thing McCool does really well is sprinkle in bits of information about Shotgun city.  (I love that name!)  Instead of pointing bit giant arrows at FIVE headed men or supercops he just presents them matter of factly.  These people exist in this world, now move along.  And oh yeah, there are vampires to deal with.

Choker is an interesting book.  The art and story are engaging, and the back matter, where Templesmith shows how he creates a page, are facinating.  I'd love to pick it up on a monthly basis, but I'm not sure I'm going to.  Image did the book a disservice by placing a $3.99 price tag on it.  I usually trade wait on that price. 

I have a month to decide.

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