Monday, September 20, 2004

Getting Fused

One of the GN's I got from ADD this past week, and I got the chance to read it last night. So, here's the rundown:

Fused: Canned Heat TPB $12.95 (Dark Horse/Rocket Comics)

Creative Team: Steve Niles, Paul Lee, Brad Rader, and Ben Templesmith, with an intro by Dan Wickline and pin-ups by David Helfrey, Scott A. Keating, Patrick Clarke and Ashley Wood.

What's it about? (Taken straight fron Niles' website: ) Mark Haggerty was a promising young robotics engineer until his body became fused with an experimental robot suit during a routine testing session. Trapped inside a body that’s not his own, and suddenly the unwilling pawn in a deadly struggle between obsessive egos and misguided military forces, Mark’s life is forever changed. With his human body consumed more each day by the Cy-bot suit, and the most dangerous elements in the world closing in around him, Mark’s only recourse is to keep fighting—until he gets his life back.
Collecting the Fused series originally published by Image

Why you should read it: Well, first of all, it's Steve Niles, and he's one of the better writers working in the medium today. Unlike most, he manages to bring something new to the table with every project. His 30 Days of Night was the second coming of great horror comics, he's writing a zombie book, he writes mystery/horror books (okay, yeah, those all fall into the horror category, but they aren't all about the same thing), and then there's Fused, something far, far outside his other horror-centric titles. I've already told you the basic lot for the series, and really, there's not much beyond that. The introduction (which it fantastic) gives us a brief historyof Niles' trouble with this book, going so far as to call it cursed (Niles calls it cursed himself). I think I can agree with that statement. It's not a bad book, not by any means, but it lacks alot of things, mostly consistency. You'll notice three different artists for the trade, and given that it was a miniseries, that's alot. You'll also note that it says it was originally published by Image, and Dark horse published the trade. It struck me as funny. Back to consistency. In serialized fiction, it's a pretty important element, and I can't help but think that if I'd read this series by issues it wouldn't have been quite as bad. Especially since there seemed to be large gaps between them. The art, however, isn't the only thing that could have been better (well, the consistency of the art at least), the story feels off. We're left with quite a few questions, given how much we actually care about the series and it's characters. The back story about who Mark really works for seems vague, as does the back story for the people chasing them. We're not given alot of time with Mark and his wife, so when he worries about her we don't really feel the urgency that he does. My biggest complaint is the introduction of the Implementers, who end up serving almost no purpose. It felt like the old Image books where Youngblood would show up just because, and you're left scratching your head. Overall the book felt rushed, no matter how long it was between issues. This might be one of the rare books that only read great in floppy form, because the trade makes it feel like the comic book equivelent of a quilt. Bits and pieces of things stitched together in an attempt to make an even larger thing. Unfortunately these pieces were oddly shaped and we're left with many, many holes.

I've got tons more to talk about, but, like always, I'm strapped for time. I've just finished Niles' Freaks of the Heartland #5 along with the latest Fantastic Four issue, so look for some thoughts on those later.

EDIT: I just added Haloscan comments, you can't miss 'em, so this should make it easier for those who actually comment! Ignore the first little comment line...I haven't been able to get it removed yet. Anyone know how?


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