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Review: First Wave #2

The right ingredients in the wrong soup.

No Caption Provided
The Blackhawks start playing dirty when the Spirit starts meddling in their affairs. 

The Good

Rags Morales is a masterful storyteller with a truecommand of body language, setting and composition. He puts the work into rendering of everything from Batman's hi-tech plane to a gumshoe's messy office to even a bubbly bathroom with equal care. It's his talents, in fact, that make my issues with the art doubly-frustrating.

The Bad

I'm a little conflicted about the art. I'm a big fan of Morales' work, but I've never been a fan of comics featuring colored art that hasn't been inked. I've only seen it work a couple times, and this definitely isn't the case. I realize they're trying to give this a unique look, but I think there were a lot of other ways that could've been accomplished. I don't know if Ruffino's colors are to blame, because he does some good production work, but it never looks right when you can see the pencils underneath. Instead of appreciating the art for what it was, I was more often thinking about how much better it could look with an inker tightening the lines. It was enough to be distracting. 
I wasn't feeling the story, in general, either. I understand that the conceit of this series is to unite all the pulp-era characters together, but these characters are just too different to jibe together cohesively. I'm so used to seeing the Spirit in more down-to-Earth crime stories with a touch of humor that it just doesn't sit right to see him portrayed like another superhero. The whole thing just feels like a mess, and the five or six page monologue at the end doesn't really tie it all up that well, either. The correlation between the captions and the panels just wasn't hitting me. In fact, it was more often confusing.

The Verdict  - 2/5

The best comparison I can make is that this felt like reading a crossover between something like the Transformers and the Green Hornet. Could you plot out a story? Sure. Would it feel right? Probably not. The best way to put it is that this felt like a soup. The ingredients mixed in would taste good on their own, but not together. And I think my complaints about the ink-less art can fit under that descriptor, as well.