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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Couriers 03: The Ballad of Johnny Funwrecker

The Couriers from Couriers 03: The Ballad of Johnny Funwrecker
For sample pages, see the AiT/Planet Lar site.
AiT/Planet Lar $12.95
Writer: Brian Wood; Artist: Rob G

This installment of The Couriers reveals the origin of Special and Moustafa, a couple of foul-mouthed bad ass kids, 15 and 12 respectively, as they begin their journey as mercenary couriers in 1993.

Special, a girl, gets her start as part of Johnny Funwrecker’s crew in a chance encounter where she saves Funwrecker from an assassination attempt. Soon Moustafa, a dude, eager to join up with Funwrecker’s crew and ditch his less than perfect home life, starts training with Special.

They’re young and talented, and when they see an opportunity to double cross Funwrecker and start out on their own, they grab it.

The book itself is about as close as you can get to a wild action movie on paper. Wood and Rob G do a great job of borrowing movie conventions and using them to their fullest. The way “scenes” cut back and forth, the pace, and some of the visual effects are examples.

You know me, though, I’ve always got to pick at something. This time I’m picking at the art a bit. Overall, I thought the art worked great, but I have to say the personal characterization was pretty inconsistent, especially with Funwrecker. It wasn’t completely distracting, but it could have used some refinement. Yes, I know, the Couriers aren’t refined, but the lines for the inanimate objects in the book are quite nice, and it would have been good to feel like the human elements matched this skill.

There were also a couple parts that I felt could have either been cut out or fleshed out. For example on the page that “explains” why Moustafa would want to leave a seemingly nice home to join up with Funwrecker, his mom suddenly appears, spits on Special, smacks Moustafa, then takes off. It just felt a little weak.

Despite a few little things like this, it’s a good action comic, and really there aren’t a lot of these out there. It’s bloody, even the good guys are bad, and there’s no lesson to be learned; and that’s oddly refreshing. If you like Jim Mahfood’s Grrl Scouts or just enjoy a good action flick, then this is a comic to check out for yourself.

Bottom Line: B+


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