Sometimes when I’m feeling down and lonely I go to the comic store (current research suggests that I’m not the only one). As much as I give Nickel a hard time about his bizarre need to own actual REAL WORLD comic books, I have to admit that from time to time the feeling that I get from simply grabbing a comic willy-nilly from the shelf and immediately buying it fills me with the same joy the average junkie gets from the needle. So when I saw Pisces from Image Comics featuring a beautiful space themed cover by Johnnie Christmas (I’m dreaming of… more Johnnie Christmas covers… just like Bing sang so long ago… for those of you who aren’t super old, White Christmas is an old song and Bing Crosby, like, sang it) I snatched it up in my greedy little fingers filled with the hope that the story within warranted the majesty of that cover.
Now having read it, the hope is gone, dissatisfaction has set in, and my world consists of a single word and a single question:
Hang on Campers, it’s going to be a wild ride…
Pisces is a story about Dillon Carpenter (of this much I AM SURE!). The story begins with our intrepid hero driving his car drunk into the back of an ambulance at a hospital.
Wiebe partially answers this question when Dillon is immediately assaulted by an large African American man, in scrubs, who lets us know during an irate tirade that Dillon’s child has just been born and that the child’s mother has no interest in seeing him.
WHY doesn’t she want to see him? WHY does this man want to harm Dillon? WHAT is his relationship to the mother?
Wiebe provides no answers and instead gives us a flashback of Vietnam (I think it’s a flashback, although it’s equally possible that Dillon exists only in fever dream I am currently having because that’s how disjointed this comic is. It is entirely possible that I have imagined this comic, perhaps I have even imagined my own existence.) We pick up our tale with Dillon shot down in enemy territory as he drags his wounded co-pilot in to the jungle, as the “enemy territory” concept suggests, the enemy soon arrives and Dillon makes choices which some will hate, some will love, but everyone should find very interesting.
WHY are we so interested in this experience in Vietnam? HOW does it affect Dillon’s character? WHY is it important for Dillon’s ongoing story?
Wiebe provides no answers and instead jumps to a final two page spread of Dillon adrift in a spacesuit at the end of a tether.
WHY is Dillon in space? WHAT is his mission? DOES this series have a point?
Wiebe provides no answers, leaving the following question for the reader-WHY should you give him your hard earned money?
Well, normally in a bad review I would start with the “bad” aspects of the book (The dead weight holding down the goodness) however I think I did a fairly good job of that in the plot description. It’s not that anything in this book is individually bad, Wiebe is obviously a talented writer (the Vietnam flashback is actually quite entertaining) and Christmas’s art is enjoyable (although his interiors never seem to ascend to the height of his cover) however neither an interesting character, nor good art, can make up for the fact that the creators of this series seem unwilling to tell the reader what the story is about IN THE FIRST ISSUE! And you, comic fan at home, should save yourself the trouble of reading this series until they get around to telling you what this book is about!
Who knows it might even be good by the end, but it sure isn’t now.
1.5 out of 5 stars.
[Editor’s Note: Now I have to read this book so that I can try to disagree with Desmond. Despite the low grade awarded here, the description has totally intrigued me. – Nickel]