Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comic Book Report: Alias Vol. 1

Comics legend Brian Michael Bendis does noir. This was the first title published under Marvel's "R-rated" MAX imprint, and the very first word of the book is "FUCK!" Which sets the tone pretty well--the heroine is a world-weary private detective (is there any other kind in fiction?) who also happens to be a former superhero. Hijinks ensue.

Anyway, being Bendis, of course it's good, though I wouldn't call it great. It's a stew of hard-boiled genre tropes lightly seasoned with references to and guest appearances by big-names Marvel heroes. There's a lot of dialogue, but it rarely feels talky, which is something of a triumph in itself.

My biggest quibble is with the cover art--sure, it's well-done, but it feels a bit too Sandman for this subject matter. Sorry, guys, but Dave McKean didn't just steal your thunder, he's got that lightning bottled up like Kandor. (And yes, I am being ironic by using a DC reference.)

Buy the book: Powell's, Amazon (affiliate links)

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