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Cross Bronx #2

Posted: Monday, October 9, 2006
By: Martijn Form



Writer: Michael Avon Oeming & Ivan Brandon
Artists: Michael Avon Oeming, Nick Filardi (color)

Publisher: Image Comics


Plot: a gritty detective story set in the Bronx>>

Comments: The Cross Bronx is getting amazingly positive reviews around the web, which surprises me. Well, maybe not. Michael Avon Oeming is all about quality as an artist. His art in Powers is great because it totally provide the right feel for the story. His dark ink lines are more comic strip than realistic, but without being comical. No just the opposite, his characters are raw with great emotions. There arenít many good artists who can do great crime noir shadows. In my mind he could be a great director of photography for any gritty film. Or a great animation director.

But his art has its limitations. Cross Bronx could easily be a Powers book. And thatís something I donít like. If you're already doing Powers, why do almost the same thing with another project.

For me there is too much Powers in his story telling, and I wanted something different from Oeming. His writing style is average and especially the rhythm in the book doesnít feel natural. It makes this issue chaotic, where the storyline is pretty straight forward. Some murders have occurred, and two detectives have to solve the case. So far the story isnít very surprising. Itís something I have seen many times, for instance in a book like Image's Sam & Twitch.

The first four pages present a scene where the detectives question a survivor of a harsh shooting. A lot of dialogue doesn't provide much information for us readers to crack the case. Although the survivor is deeply emotional about it all, it didnít do much for me. And when the survivor then gets shot, probably by the same murderer who killed his friends, I'm confused. In issue #1 the murderer could have shot them all. So why not him? Why let him blabber to the cops, and then shoot him dead. Maybe once all the issues have been released it will all make sense, but for now, it doesn't.

I also didnít like the splash page that follows. It's not that big a deal. Okay murder is, but not this guy. He is a nobody and a nobody for cracking this case, so why emphasize so much attention on this scene, that really is just the same panel four times over. I donít like when an artist is taking a short cut by drawing one panel and then zooming out or in to create several panels. It's a job done with speed.

Oeming does this too often for my taste. He did the same thing in the scene with the mechanic working on the detectiveís car. No, this issue didnít provide us with any further information in the police case and so there isnít any development in the story, which is essential for a four issue series.

And the cliffhanger at the end? Not one of the best to say the least. The big bonus for me are the rejection letters that Oeming provides for our entertainment. I really like those. The rest? Pfffffff.



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