story by Kevin Rubio, art by Lucas Marangon
Diamond Order Number: AUG073943
The official hype: Red 5 Comics has decided to kill ABYSS – the lead character of a series by the same name – before the first issue of the comic even comes out this October. Right from the first page, the oblivious billionaire son of ABYSS (Eric Hoffman) is already attempting to move on with his life.
The actual story is a bit more understandable. The premise, at least as it can be summed up, is about a boy who's father has just died. Eric Hoffman was never very close to his father but as we soon find out his father's entire estate has been left to him. As his father was a very wealthy man Eric has quite a bit of information to absorb and we're thrown right in with him. This is a positive point for the story as it allows us to learn about our main character's world right along with him.
The most important thing Eric discovers is his father's extracurricular activities as a costumed individual... and yes, I'm being purposefully ambiguous as to not ruin the story for anyone else.
Overall this has the potential to be a fun, if not entirely original concept. In execution however, the first issue was lacking the fun it promised.
I found much of the humor to be forced, as if the was a sitcom laugh track in the background attempting to point out what was supposed to be funny. The sarcastic air is somewhat overdone and unfortunately added to the forced humor effect. Some of the comedy came across but I think there's a lot of work to be done to make the tongue and cheek feeling settle in with the story and characters.
The art was too cartoony for my taste but the overall style worked for the story. You can easily distinguish the characters and the artist has a good grasp of character expression. Also, his costumes and robotics are excellent. In general the art is still juvenile but it has a lot of potential – it kind of reminds me of Matt Wagner's early artwork on Grendal.
My feeling once finishing the book was that it lacked the spark needed to pull in a new reader which may prove unfortunate for a new book from a new publisher. I would encourage readers to give it more of a chance than just the first book as I believe that the writer may just need some time to build up speed. The main character is interesting enough that he deserves at least a 3 issue trial and I think the concept is solid enough that it could end up being an entertaining read.
Bottom Line: Fun concept with a slow start and an unpolished artist. The book shows some potential so I'd say - read it, don't get discouraged yet, and hope the next issue picks up the pace!
Jim: Abyss - Decent premise that shows a level of promise, but overall the story missed the mark to make me want to come back for more. Has potential to get better and as it is a new publisher I will hang in for a couple more issues to see if its potential is tapped. Grade C
Lee: Abyss - Competent story with some humorous parts. Workman like art with some simple perspective problems detracted more than helped. Problem may due to poor inking v. poor pencils. Overall, C+.