By Koppy McFad
November 29, 2009 - 02:36
This is the first issue of "FIRST WAVE", a new line of comics set outside the mainstream DC universe and which will feature many "pulp" themed characters like Doc Savage, the Avenger and the Spirit. It seems to be set in some vague era where men dress like it is still the 1940s-1950s and make references to the "war" but where flat-screen TVs and cellphones are also commonplace. Perhaps the writers want to have their cake and eat it too, so they have pulp-era trappings but with modern technology. It is not so confusing that it makes the story unenjoyable but it doesn't come off too smoothly either.
The pacing is also rather slow-- especially considering how fast-moving pulp fiction stories were. To be sure, the prose itself is very good but both Batman and Doc Savage come off as contemplative types, not the men of action they are suppose to be. The scenes of dialogue between the Gotham cops is also awkward. As though the writer were trying to hard to come up with his own version of tough, urban slang.
The art is unique, with a photographic style that captures all the flashes of light and blurs of movement. But it also makes the action hard to follow. The whole fight between Batman and Doc Savage on the bat-rope and at the window is just hard to understand.
This isn't really a comic book. It is more of a teaser for the coming FIRST WAVE series so those expecting a massive battle of the titans will be disappointed. The notes and drawings at the end however look very intriguing, possibly an indication of FIRST WAVE's potential. Just the same, many of those who picked up this book will be left feeling a bit let down. This book should have given us more than the brief squabble between the Dark Knight and the Man of Bronze.
Rating: 6.5 /10