Welcome to Tranquility #12
By Zak Edwards
November 28, 2007 - 00:34
Writer(s): Gail Simone
Penciller(s): Neil Googe
Cover Artist(s): Neil Googe
Ever read something in a piece of fiction and think to yourself, “Wow! The irony of that statement does not escape me!” The final issue of the zombie Welcome to Tranquility arc has the following on the last page. Gail Simone writes a couple of panels that says “They even made a comic out of (what happened). Too be honest, it kind of sucks.” Your right Gail Simone, your absolutely right! This whole arc did exactly what Simone says it does and for many reasons, one of which is how quickly this wonderfully original and charming concept became a very unoriginal and convoluted mess.
Back in issue number one of this series, Gail Simone gave her readers something very cool: a town filled with retired super-heroes and super-villains. The first issue opens with a plane flown by a senile old hero crashing down main street of a charming little town. Simone then showed us a wonderful little dispute over an apple tree between two little old men who used to be enemies. Its all very funny and, despite the obvious science fiction element, possessing a unique real life element. An innocence seems to reflected in this community, but with some underlying problems. The city is almost a Utopia of sorts, with the characters going about their lives eating at a local diner and doing things that those people living in little towns in the movies do, and it was wonderfully entertaining. The first arc was very grand and things eventually returned to normal, but then disaster struck. The second story of the citizens of Tranquility ignored all of the qualities of the first arc. Most characters in the first fail to even appear in the second arc. Instead, Simone chose to explore other members of the community. Unfortunately, these characters were rehashed heroes of other comics or overly used concepts for characters. Simone introduced a cowboy character who has the usual “bad guy killed my family so I vow vengeance” origin. Another character was introduced in the stories that appeared in the last six pages of every comic, all of which were a disappointment. A character named Suzy is a blatant advertisement for manga. Her origin story is longer than her appearance in the actual story, telling how a tomboyish girl finds something that gives her enough ‘confidence’ to start wearing revealing clothing and kissing random boys in her high school. For a writer known for her portrayal of strong female characters, Gail Simone certainly dropped the ball. This issue specifically was slightly better than most of the others with part of the story following officer Duray, who goes through a sort of redemption story. Simone does allow for many of the characters from the first arc to return, but with such a big cast created, it doesn’t due anyone service.
The art remained consistent, even if the story did not. Neil Googe proved again that he can handle big action sequences as well as conversations. The pages turn very quickly when the pace speeds up thanks to his panelling, and slow down as well. The characters all look the ages they are, with the exception of a very young looking Pink Bunny, who is supposed to be as old as the rest, but is laid out for the reader to look down her shirt. The only real major complaint about his art is the noses of the characters, which look very strange and awkward, mostly looking like shiny flat pieces put on the face of the characters. Other than that minor detail, this series continued to look good, even if it didn’t read well.
4/10 This series limped to its conclusion, but looked good doing it.
For fans of the series hoping for a to return to its former glory, no solicitations of Welcome to Tranquility #13 have been released, so this may be the end of the series, I’m not sure. I have attempted to find information about it, but so far nothing has come up.
Welcome to Tranquility #12
Welcome to Tranquility #11
Welcome to Tranquility #10
Welcome to Tranquility #9
Welcome to Tranquility #8
Welcome to Tranquility #7
Gail Simone: Welcome to Tranquility #1