Comic books 25 May 2008 07:59 am
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall the day Bruce Jones pitched his concept for an updated War That Time Forgot to DC Comics.
“What we’ll do, see, is take a bunch of half-forgotten characters — Firehair, Enemy Ace, the Viking Prince and a few others — and stick ‘em on this island with dinosaurs,” the writer might have said. “Don’t worry that they’re all from different eras. That’s part of the mystery. And don’t worry that they’ll all speak modern English; I’ll toss in a throwaway line to explain that. Besides, there’ll be so much pterodactyl and tyrannosaurus action that readers won’t have time to ask questions. It’s like Lost meets Survivor meets Edgar Rice Burroughs.”
I hope I’m wrong and that Jones, a talented scribe, has some sort of master plan up his sleeve. But he is coming off a major failure — his updating of Mike Grell’s Warlord limped along for a handful of issues before DC mercifully pulled the plug — and the first issue of War That Time Forgot has the unmistakable stench of desperation, of a creator throwing everything and the kitchen sink at readers in hopes that something will take hold.
Penciller Al Barrionuevo and inker Jimmy Palmiotte do a nice job with the visuals; War is a pretty book to look at. But looks, as they say, aren’t everything.
And just in case time travel, dinosaurs, and a laundry list of cancelled characters isn’t enough, the cliffhanger on the final page introduces another disparate element into the mix. Yikes.
I’ll stick around for another issue or two to see if Jones can pull this one together. After all, it does have dinosaurs beneath its nifty Neal Adams cover, and that counts for a lot, but they aren’t enough to keep me coming back for the entire twelve issues without some sense to bind together the (so far) nonsensical story.