Saturday, January 26, 2008



When I saw the cover for this, I thought, "Hello! I'm your target audience! I love conspiracy theories and secret histories and stories written around them!"

Then I read the thing. The first thing that will strike you when you open the book would be the stiff, sub-Jerry Ordway art if the overly enthusiastic coloring didn't blind you first. Someone's got too many effects pedals hooked up to their photoshop. Once your eyes get accustomed to the first page, there is this cute swarm of miniature alligators to contemplate. Oh, and some Mulder chasing a lame looking alien in a hoody. Then he kicks the alien through a tombstone and I'm wishing they made a Mystery Science Theater for comics. The alien fights back by pushing our hero's face into an engraving for Corinthians 15:26. Vaguely allusive epistles just aren't used enough as weapons anymore. Then the riding pants/leather overcoat government doctor descends from his army-issued ufo and takes care of it from here.

Four pages in, and I was punching myself in the leg. Then the Mulder guy goes to talk to the only people who will believe his story, his brothers: a U.S. senator and a Catholic Bishop (they're the ones covering up the conspiracy our guy is trying to uncover)! They argue and the the the guy's kid becomes a teenager and learns about his destiny and then he becomes an adult and some sort of crazy cult leader espousing ridiculous things about the third army revolution against the opposing forces of fascism and Latin phrases on money. Oh, they also get in 'unknown metal' implants, the Pleiades, Jesus: anti-conspiracy fighter, Buddha: anti-conspiracy fighter, psychic brain bolts and appearances by actual conspiracy nuts!

Then there's the wicker men. Because nothing makes for great conspiracy stories like strawmen villains (ask Ayn Rand!). There's a Homeland Security spokesperson who actually says, "Although the group's motives are still unclear and their actions have been of a non-violent nature, the administration considers these incidents acts of terrorism for the danger they pose to the emerging new world order fighting for democracy across the globe." Whew! That's a mouthful. It's also very self-aware for evil (although we have to ignore the fact that the group actually IS violent). There's even a capitalist explaining how to use "shopping malls, credit card debt, endless wars and a dying planet" for the benefit of greed! Who he is and who he's talking to on the phone is never revealed. There's no time for that! We need to go to a rave where the good guy cult is recruiting children and performing brain surgery on spies.

What is the book even about? Revolution! Well, no. It seems to be about, "How come no one else can see the real war going on? I can!" This is a visually ugly book with some of the worst cliches of a cliche-ridden genre trotted out as plot, and plot used as character.

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Blogger Gustavo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Gustavo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Gustavo said...

HI Justin, Gus here the creator of NWO. Thanks for the sincere review of my comic book. I think I am pretty lucky to have my comic book debut at Image/Shadowline and at the same time feel like I still have so much to learn about the medium. I totally understand your criticisms and I think the next issues are an improvement in both story and art. I hope you try the next issues out and let me know what you think so I can keep perfecting my craft.

(Sorry for the multiple posts. Something was wrong with the comment system.)

12:30 AM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

Well, if I was regretting not being more constructive before, I really am now.

I'll get the next issue and give it another chance, Gustavo.

6:26 PM  

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