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The Losers #12

Posted: Friday, June 4, 2004
By: Kelvin Green



ďIsland Life: ConclusionĒ

Writer: Andy Diggle
Artist: Jock

Publisher: DC/Vertigo

This issue worries me, because at the end of another action-packed adventure, we find that the team have yet another single clue that will lead them on into what will undoubtedly turn out to be another action-packed adventure. ďWhatís wrong with that?Ē you may ask, and youíd be right to. After all, itís a good thing that this comic has a sense of forward momentum, and itís very good to see that Diggle has the team investigating as well as shooting. But itís just not complex enough. This is a comic about a special operations team hiding from their government while trying to uncover the secretive official that betrayed them, so there should surely be a greater level of complexity to this, shouldnít there?

What we get instead is a very simplistic chain of clues that moves forward on a single path, with no branches, no false leads and no complexities. The team blow stuff up for a few issues, find a clue, then move on to repeat the cycle. Itís too neat and simplistic for my tastes, and I could get tired of it if it continues for much longer. Diggle has added some complexity with a subplot concerning a secret agent assigned to tracking down the team, but this too proceeds along a single straight path without twists and turns. Something about this comicís overall plotting reminds me of a simplistic role-playing or video game: the player completes a task which opens up a new area in which there is a task to be completed.

The reason that this is such a disappointing and perhaps damning flaw is that the rest of the comic is so good. The characterisation is great, even if the characters donít have much depth as yet, and the stories are exciting, even if the overall plots arenít. The action is over-the-top, exciting and wonderfully choreographed, and the art is superb. It all fits together so well on an issue-by-issue basis, but just falls apart when seen in terms of longer story arcs. Fix that problem, and this is a four or four-and-a-half comic, but I canít honestly give it such a score at this point. Good stuff, just not good enough.



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