The Webcomic Watchman

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Special Edition: The News Reel!

(Alternate Title: "Watching webcomics in two sentences or less!")

Hello everybody, this is "The Receptionist" again.

Dr. Haus is still missing in action, leaving behind little more than a note saying that he was going to deal with a cliche. I'm not sure what he meant, but I hope he comes back alive.

Anyways, it's finals week at my university, and I don't have time for a full review, but I can give you a sampling of what may be reviewed via this "News Reel."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Review #18: Sicario: Hidden Angels

"Only HE can tell me why this 'mysterious silhouette with red eye' effect hasn't worn off yet! Seriously, it's annoying the crap out of me!"

Title: Assassin: Angeli Nascosti
Artist: Trenton Thompson
Collective/Studio: Mystic Way Productions
Genre: Action!
Updates: Weekly (Fri)

Hi y'all, this is "The Receptionist" Speaking, covering Dr. Haus' ass for the past few months. However, the good Doctor has mysteriously disappeared, and with few signs of returning, I must take it upon myself to hack into his account and write a review for him until he gets back.

Anyways, onto our current subject:

It starts, as most webcomics do, with a happy young white boy dragging a sled up a snowy hill, well, at least with the "happy young white boy" part. With a face that almost looks like clay in the second panel, not to mention at the end of the page with the shrunken arm, the smoking twig in his mouth, and a head that looks like someone snuck into Cloud's hair gel stash, we can already tell the comic is going off to a great start.

Next thing you know, Manuel Noriega has survived...oh, excuse me, that's "Noriyega", my bad. Anyways, Isamu barely notices winter coming, despite the fact that he's playing in freakin' snow.

Oops, wrong again. It was a botched allegory to the fact that his entire family is going to be killed by snipers, except for his dad, who is killed by a teenager who appears to have had a tragic accident in a black ink and red light manufacturing plant, or something. Oh, if you haven't seen the comic, then don't read that last sentence.

Look, I can understand the "mysterious silhouette" effect, but if the silhouette is kept up while the person is portrayed in plain view with no shadows in sight, then that's when my "Suspension Of Disbelief" (or S.O.D.) begins to slip.

But back on topic, for reasons unknown, the kid manages to evade two assassins on snowmobiles with combustible engines with nothing more than a simple wooden sled with steel skids and no engine at all. And then, if your S.O.D. isn't already dead, the fact that the ice underneath one assassin and future protagonist just happens to be the part that's thin enough for them to sink, without the evil dude pulling the trigger, should shatter it.

As if that weren't enough of a "deus ex machina" (or "God of the Machine," one of the few Latin phrases I know), Permanent Silhouette Man decides to rescue the kid instead of his own comrade. His only reason being that "...he has potential." I was tempted to laugh at this, only to realize that "Holy shit, this dude is serious!"

So then we fast-forward to a part where Isamu wakes up, his hair gel still working overtime, in a rather swanky bedroom. Seriously, is this how they treat the son of their hated enemy? Maybe I should ask my dad to piss more people off and then take me on a trip to Alaska. Apparently, this grand bedroom is part of the "Vendetta Syndicate's Assassin Training Base." And they immediately start training him to become a cold-blooded killer (insert "Montage" here). Why? Just cuz' Isamu's got that spiky hair, that's why! Oh, and don't bother looking for an explanation of how he trains to become an assassin, that stuff is just meaningless filler to Mr. Thompson. Maybe he'll expand upon it later in the comic, but he's got a story to tell about a great young assassin, and by God, he's gonna tell it! Fuck elaboration!

Of course, it takes him 16 years to finally yell at the old butler, "Hey, you mean they're training me to kill people? And you're telling me I didn't actually die that night? When did this happen?" And that's not even mentioning that huge brown hair-stalk that seems to stretch over his left eye in the last panel.

By now, if your S.O.D hasn't left the station, it's probably stolen your credit card to buy plane tickets instead.

Lazy-Ass Summary: Temporarily unavailable until Dr. Haus can be located again. But here's the final word.

The art could use some work, but it is better than a good lot of webcomics out there. However, the story still needs a lot of tweaking. And no fancy Flash cover page with generic, ominous background music is going to hide that.