Writer: David Wohl (Story by Wohl, Roger Mincheff, and Eric Oliver)
Artists: Bing Cansino (p), Rodel Noora (i), Ed Tadeo (colors)
Publisher: Image Comics/Top Cow
What can I say about Innocents #1 other than bleh! This has all of the complexity and emotion of an Andy Sidaris movie (uh, I’ve never watched one of his films...). The idea behind this series is a basic one, involving a reluctant heroine who has been chosen as a hero by a secret society of similar women. Not only that, but the women who are part of this group of "innocents" are beautiful, buxom, and basically flawless, just like the playmates in the aforementioned Sidaris movies (I swear, I’ve never seen any of those movies! Well, maybe a preview...). Check out the cover of this issue if you don’t believe me! It displays our heroine in a bikini top, a well-defined exposed mid-section, and low-cut jeans. Not only is this reminiscent of a Maxim model, but it’s downright cheesy because of the sword she holds in one hand and the skateboard she holds in the other. Yeah, she’s an extreme sports junkie and a jeet kune do master! Judging from the origin story inside, this kind of uninspired silliness is what readers have to look forward to for the duration of this series. I think it’s terrible that Top Cow and David Wohl have decided to disrespect modern comic fans with this kind of poorly written trash.
Normally, when I read and review a comic book such as this, I would write about the amateurish techniques used by the writer and what he or she could do to make the comic more entertaining for fans. However, since Mr. Wohl is a writer that has been involved in comics for a while now, all I can say is, “Shame on you.” Ineffective dialogue, erratic pacing, sub-standard execution, and a heroine I couldn’t give two hoots about just about sums things up for Issue #1. Every character in this comic is a vanilla stereotype, and I was very close to throwing this across the room before I finished it. I mean, does every person who travels to Tokyo have to be attacked by a motorcycle gang? Does every extreme athlete have to be a loner with a mommy/daddy complex? Does every "destined" hero automatically know how to fight? I may be a tad unfair, but this comic book didn’t touch the originality button at all and reads like something a pubescent teenager might write. The only aspect that Wohl did get right was the daring nature of the heroine, as her desire to confront a situation rather than flee from it fits with her fearless personality. Other than this, Innocents #1 is paint-by-numbers scripting, complete with inane spoken monologues (“Could I have stopped this?”), sloppy dialogue (Grace asks why the mysterious girl keeps calling her an "innocent," even though she only mentioned it once), and unsympathetic characters (Grace and Phillip are your plastic, perfect, spoiled celebrities). I thought they stopped making comics like this!
What keeps this comic from the very deepest depths of stupidity is the adequate artwork by newcomer Bing Cansino (sounds like a nightclub act) and Rodel Noora. While they definitely make all of the characters look spotlessly perfect, they also created fight scenes that were fairly engaging. The climactic scene of the issue featured panels that were well-balanced and kinetic, displaying this battle pretty effectively. Also, the emotions on the faces of characters are sometimes good, though they are just as often blank or imperceptible. Ross’s plastic smile wore on me to no end, until I wondered if he might get whacked by the death squad earlier in the issue! Nothing about their artwork is new or interesting, but it is nice to look at and pleasantly colored by Ed Tadeo. If nothing else, the comic book looks like it has an air of quality about its presentation.
At one point in issue #1, Grace comments that, “I feel like I just landed in a really bad movie.” Grace, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It’s the comic equivalent of Hard Ticket to Hawaii (Look, I told you I haven’t seen this...).
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