Current Reviews


Puncture #5

Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2003
By: Craig Lemon

Writer: Russell Uttley
Artist: Ben Oliver

Publisher: Com.X

The biggest problem with Puncture is the scheduling. Ah, you know this. You also probably decided to drop the book after #2 or #3 when your retailer stopped bringing it in due to the erratic shipping schedule. Uttley refers to this obliquely in his editorial at the front of this issue; a break-in and all components stolen would be good enough excuse you might think, but not for a whole number of retailers. So, providing you actually want to buy this issue in the first place, where the heck can you get it from? Your retailer. It’s available on re-orders. Go in there, and demand they order you a copy. If the retailer refuses, change your retailers. Or order online from – you can get this book, if you want it.

And you should want it.

This may be issue five out of a six issue “volume one” of the Puncture series, and there may not be a “what has gone before” section at the front – Uttley, sort it – but this almost acts as issue one of the series, as it explains all that has gone before, what was happening behind the scenes of the first four issues, and you can pick it up and go with no prior knowledge.

That’s not all that’s cool about this book – Ben Oliver brings a dark, moody and violent atmosphere to his art…you expect the guy to be a raving maniac in real life, spending his time drooling over car accident photo references for his nasty scenes, and then you see what else the guy is capable of (seen the Dark Ages of Camelot promo postcards for the computer game? Oliver’s exceptional work). Versatility is the key – and, and…the guy can draw horses. No big deal, you may think, but ask any comics artist if they like to draw horses from no reference, and 95% will say no – guaranteed.

Uttley is no slouch in the scripting department either – the opening dialogue of the agents as they corner the Puncture guy and beat the shit out of him is confusing on first read…and then on page three or so you realise they are having a bet on what type of underwear he wears in bed, and this is something they do all the time. Very Pulp-Fiction, ordinary dialogue for extraordinary people, and it’s cool, it works, and the book benefits as a result.

So, with Puncture kidnapped and his history laid out for us to see, it’s time to cut loose, and there’s a tremendously nasty scene – when both arms are trapped, he can still grow spikes from his head – rendering a headbutt extremely terminal. Ouch. That, as the cliché goes, has got to hurt.

So, issue five. With the delay since issue four, it might as well be a new issue one – and the bloody thing works as an issue one too. Track it down. Hunt for it. It will take effort, but it’s worthwhile.

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