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Red Herring #1

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009
By: Andre Lamar

David Tischman
Philip Bond, David Hahn, Guy Major (c)
Wildstorm / DC
David Tischman and co-creator Philip Bond unveil the first issue from their conspiracy series Red Herring. According to Webster’s Dictionary the term red herring is identified as “something that distracts attention from the real issue”. Although the story explains a brief conspiracy theory about aliens from Roswell, the focus of this issue centers around government employee, Maggie MacGuffin, and how she becomes whisked into this twisted plot.

Tischman effortlessly crafts a plauisble character in Maggie, in which she’s depicted as a modern woman with everyday problems. For instance, the young woman is insecure with herself--despite having a petite frame, she’d rather have the perky rear-end her roommate Elysa has. As well, there's money troubles--her job as a secretary congressman Damorge Channel in Washington, DC, “barely pays for a good pair of shoes,” over the course of a two week span. Aside from MacGuffin, Red Herring serves as the only other standout character. He appears to be a secret agent of some sort and his suit wearing associates are exclusively referred to by their code names.

The main stable in the script involves the pacing. The story captures a sort of Borne Conspiracy tone as the setting never remains in one location. Progressively Tischman takes us from Maggie’s apartment, Fort Worth, Texas, and then we eventually end up at the Capitol Building. However, the transitions from place to place are smooth and credible.

Philip Bond gets the job done, lending clean character designs and lively backgrounds to this series. Many times background art is treated as an afterthought. Yet Bond has my gratitude for spending quality time to provide his characters with lively environments to live in.

The negative in Red Herring centers around the plot. Surprisingly, the conspiracy aspect of this story remains a bit unclear. Tischman makes mention of aliens from Roswell but the pieces of the puzzle don’t appear to fit once I finished reading this issue. I understand this story is supposed to be one of suspense and confusion, since it’s a con book, yet it would’ve been nice to have seen more clues as to what’s going on.

Regardless, Red Herring #1 is a refreshing title that all fans should pick up.



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