O.C.T.: Occult Crimes Taskforce #2

A comic review article by: Jason Sacks
The unproduced screenplay for Rosario Dawson's occult movie continues into its second issue. Dawson plays Sophia Ortiz, a New York City Police Officer assigned to the Occult Crimes Taskforce unit. We know about the SVU and the MCU, so why not an OCT as well? Sophia is one of the few human members of the OCT, which numbers among its members an angel, a zombie (excuse me, undead American is the preferred term), a fish guy and a medusa, among others. That aspect of the plot is the most fun to me. I found it pretty interesting to imagine being in a minority of humans among a group of supernatural creatures. If this was a pilot for a TV series rather than a movie script, I'd expect Sophia's status as a minority to become a big deal for her, which could be a funny twist.

So I liked the setting, but unfortunately, the execution of this story is pretty rotten. There's a big flaw in this comic, namely that it feels like there are pages missing. For instance, on page four, Rosario and other police are investigating a crime scene. As they do so, she's introduced to the "dog boys," who seem like human dogs. On page five, Ortiz has wandered away from her unit and found a dead monster. Out of our eyeshot, she's wandered up some stairs all by herself. There's no explanation as to why Sophia does that; she's just there suddenly. On the next page, Sophia's partner is attacked by a demon as he walks up the stairs. Fair enough. But on the next page the medusa character is upstairs with the two, standing as if she had been there for awhile. But she couldn't have; otherwise, the peril to Sophia wouldn't be there. And yet the medusa isn't shown climbing the stairs or running to the scene. She's just suddenly there.

Maybe in the movie such scenes would have better exposition. One of the bonuses of movies is that so many people work on them, it's harder to have continuity errors such as these. But this sort of thing happens all throughout the issue. Shasteen draws his people well, but he has real trouble with the idea of creating an establishing shot, a scene that shows the reader everything that can happen in a scene. Those scenes help the reader get his bearings, and this issue is pretty short on such shots.

It's too bad, because that sort of thing really knocked me out of the first section of the comic. Later on, things pick up as there's a confrontation with a Cthulu type creature, but the whole flow of this comic just feels off a bit.

But Rosario looks good, anyway.

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