Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zuda Review Absolute Magnitude/ Their is plenty of room left in the space pirate genre of Sci-Fi

Another August Zuda review is Absolute Magnitude done by Robert Burke Richardson, Martin Morazzo, and chinadoll.Here is the synopsis: All Captain Pace and the crew of the Stormbrew want is to be allowed to hunt for treasure in peace. But Minister Zel and his SecuriZone forces are intent on catching them and burning their brains out. A little harsh, but then Zel knows that Captain Pace is secretly the rebelling heir to the SecuriZone royal family. A homecoming for Pace would mean big changes in the SecuriZone, like common people finally getting a fair shake, leading to the loss of Zel's wealth and position. Captain Pace has come to a planet with failing gravity in search of a gem made of pure light, one of the legendary Wandering Stars. But holding onto this priceless treasure may prove more difficult than acquiring it in the first place. Humans have colonized over half the galaxy, evolving different forms to cope with the various extreme environments in which they thrive. But no one has ever found signs of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. Not until now…

Firefly/Serenity isn't really a space western, it's really a pirate story set in space in the future, instead of the high seas a few hundred years in the past. Think about it: Group of rouges being chased by the authorities fly [sail] around to new exotic locales and met new friends and foes. Firefly wasn't the first, won't be the last, and theirs plenty of room left in the genre to be explored by Absolute Magnitude.

[After that short intermission on with the review]

Absolute Magnitude does everything well, but it didn't have that something special to hook me as a reader. The technical proficiency shown by all the creators was appreciated, but that alone couldn't hook me as a reader in 8 screens. I would have liked AM better if it had given more face time to the villains. The most interesting part of the comic for me happened on screen 1. Panel 1 reminded me of the famous eyes pried open reprogramming scene from A Clockwork Orange. Prisoners are hooked into spaceships and their brain power used to fly around space. Drive them two hard and their brains burn out, this is the fate planned for the Stormbrew crew by the lead villain Minster Zel. The letters are all very well done. Colors suit the story, and aid the art in clearly telling this tale. The dialogue and pace fit Zuda, and I already wanted to hear more of what Zel had to say from his comments on screen 1. When we get to the introduction of the Stormbrew crew it reminds me of G.I. Joe. The art was cool and nice dialogue exchange on screen 2. It also serves to reveal some interesting information about the setting of this comic. Screen 3 was a nice introduction to one of the characters Leria and a good reveal of every time she uses her 'powers' she gets a little closer to death. It was a nice touch that reminded me of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. Unfortunately we get the 'Rigg' interlude on screen 4. I know it was probably meant to contain funny dialogue as a HAHA style set-up to impending doom -instead the character was just annoying. I hope the dead stay dead in the AM universe and Rigg is smoking like a penguin in a old Valiant comic. The bursts balloons on screen 5 looked like stars so a nice touch from chinadoll. Screen 6 was a great chance for a action shot, but the art looked too stiff considering the crew were trying to avoid being squashed. A good pace but aside from the opening screen I was wondering where that scene/screen was that made this comic stand out from the rest?

Congrats on the probable win, hope you surprise me with some cool twists and turns in the story

Screen 7 "always hated you" line and the tears were a nice touch, but the fact I don't know who the hell they are limited the scenes impact. I'm glad you wasted (I hope) Rigg, but why kill 2 characters this early on? Save some of those death scenes for later on in the story when readers might miss a character that's killed off. We end on a death scene (Stormbrew logo visible was a nice touch) and more stiff looking running from other characters. If you have a team of characters 8 screens isn't enough to get inside their heads are really know them. The story then becomes more dependent on a big cliff hanger - bigger explosions help. The last few screens would of have some real punch if readers had any real knowledge/connection to the characters. Readers didn't have the twenty/thirty screens of build-up to give this cliff hanger any real weight. Not being familiar/invested with characters in a story turns what should be jaw dropping deaths into a yawn fest. Their wasn't enough big action scenes to make up for the lack of characterization on the heroes. This resulted in a very professionally done average read. Absolute Magnitude does have all kinds of possibilities for future directions. The comic just didn't do anything different enough to stand out considering some of this months competition. I'm hoping to be more impressed with the work once it starts updating. Loosen up the art for action scenes, continue to kick ass on colors and letters, and show more of the villain he's the most interesting of the lot.

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