Wannabe, The

Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Wannabe, The Writer(s): Chris Hollmer
Artist(s): Courtney Huddleston (p), James Taylor (i), James Dean Smith (i)
Publishers: Naked Productions (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $2.95(US)

Erik and his wife wander into the wrong hotel room while on a business trip and come face to face with a pump action shotgun. Erik's wife is killed, and Erik has to try and rebuild some sort of life for himself. He feels powerless, but after a split second decision to try and help a stranger who was being mugged he decides to take some action. Perhaps if he trains and learns enough he can help others, by being a super-hero.

To say that the idea of the victim turning avenger is a cliche in the comic field would be severely obtuse. This simple idea is the basis of most of the mainstream comics industry, so the creative team on this book are going to have to give us more than a new twist if they want to make a name for themselves with this sort of plot.

Erik has a more thoughtful approach to his situation than most characters in his situation. He's thinking things through and we get to see that process though the use of a narration. He's pacing himself and trying to learn from others. He also seems to be less of a psycho outcast than most people who write in their 'war journals' about taking revenge. He still functions okay in social situations, keeps going in to work, and hasn't alienated any friends yet with ranting monologues.

Courtney and James illustrate the tale in a straight forward manner. Printed on nice shinny paper stock the pages are very light, with little use of solid areas of black or grey-tones. The layouts vary from page to page, with the transitions from 'now' to flashbacks achieving some nice effects without drawing too much attention to themselves.

This book is efficiently put together, but lacks that spark that would make it memorable. Erik's saneness so far equates to a rather bland character. The cover shows him as a brooding, unshaven chap. In the book he looks fresh-faced and chirpee most of the time after the killing of his wife. Instead of brooding, he's a slightly distracted and nice young man. That's a different take on the revenge story, but not that engaging so far. For engaging check out the gratuitous cleavage exposure on the lady in the ad on the back cover.

In a Word: Lifeless.

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