Writer: Steve Horton
Artists: David Ahn, Rhodan Belo
Publisher: Image Comics
This is the first story arc of the Strongarm series/characters. Or so it seems from the last page solicit for the next issue. Just like with titles like Bomb Queen, Sam Noir, Death Jr., among others, Image is looking to make Strongarm into yet another collection of mini-series, as opposed to making it an ongoing. Now there is nothing wrong with such an approach (as I mentioned in another recent review), provided the story and characters have enough of a pull to (1) retain readersí interest for each subsequent series and (2) get new readers. The second factor is tied into the first factor in the way that if a reader likes a particular title he/she will tell those around him/her about it and (probably) get them to try it out. On the flip side, if a reader dislikes a title, he/she will tell others to avoid it which in turn would lead to an equal loss of possible new readers.
Unfortunately, with more than half the series over, I am still more likely to tell someone to avoid this title rather than buy it.
Strongarm is composed of three main subplots, with the third being more of an offset of the second one than anything else. This issue opens with the subplot involving the resistance against the Overlord. Robís brother is a part of it, and by the speech he gives here he seems to be one of the resistance's leaders. The second and bigger plot involves Rob himself and the "strong" arms that have attached themselves to him. Having fallen unconscious last issue, Rob is taken to a safe house by his friend Lindsey where she treats his wounds. All Lindsey has to do is take out the shell casings before the arms kick in and "repair" Rob. The third plotline presents flashbacks of Rob and Lindsey and the tension between them. Even there, instead of having some real tension, the two come off as rather whiny, weak willed chumps.
As with the story my views about the artwork mirror those from my reviews of the previous two issues. It is the best thing about Strongarm.
Conclusion: There is nothing very wrong with Strongarm but at the same time there isnít all much that is right either.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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