"We need to have a bit of a chinwig, you and me. Sit down."
What makes "Shoot" so important of a comic is the Synchronicity of the whole situation. John Constantine being a character attached to Synchronicity makes it ironic that a story about "High School" shootings would be written, fully illustrated, lettered, colored and ready to print only to be held back because of the real problem of High School shootings at the time of its release. Warren Ellis would end up leaving Hellblazer because of this and his career has taken off, while Hellblazer is probably the most overlooked series on the shelves.
In Shoot, Magick is not obvious, but the horrors of the human condition are. Ellis tries to make the reader uncomfortable with the idea of School Shootings and it worked well in this story. The premise is on what do these kids have to look forward to when they are raised by TV screens instead of parents? That simple statement was overlooked because it was the newspapers and the TV journalist attacking the comics value and leading it to be censored. Allowing kids to be raised on TV. In the land of the free, the British blokes were not allowed freedom of speech until now.
Part of the impact of this story is not just the topic and the text, but the visuals supplied by Phil Jimenez (Wonder Woman, X-Men) and Andy Lanning (Nova). The strength comics have over any other medium is that it is a blend of Picture and Words. At times the pictures tell more then the words can ever and this comic is a great example of it. In the Title page for shoot, the facial expression of the boy can be read a few ways and that is what makes this comic haunting.
As mentioned in my reviews for the stories which are part of this original set of 6 stories, Magick in the real world is something Ellis is exploring. The Magick in this issue was Synchronicity (with John being in the right place all the time) and also the magic of the press. The reporter in this story is trying to connect facts to write an article and in that article she can align the focus of the masses. This comic is a statement on media being magical as much as it is a statement of Shoot Shootings being wrong. Media is raising the children of today and that is why many of them are hopeless.
The rest of Vertigo Resurrected are collections of short stories from past anthologies. What is nice about these selected stories is that new comic readers have a chance to see these rare stories from creators that are pretty big names now. Axel Alonso being the editor for all the stories.
From the Strange Adventures Brian Bolland's story "The Kapas" may not be my favorite story out of the bunch, but it is still horrific in how meaningless human life is to some culture of people. The Brian Azzarello and Esad Ribic story "Native Tongue" was more what I was expecting would be collected in this comic. This is early Brian Azzarello, which demonstrates what his twisted mind was like before 100 Bullets. Esad Ribic is a great artist, but I think is overlooked. On the credits page his name is misspelled as Essad instead of Esad. In Native Tongue the two men create a tale of primal blood lust.
Weird War Tales is another anthology that would be tapped to collect stories from. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely may be one of the most respected creative teams with work such as We3 and All-Star Superman, these two creators have a great chemistry. "New Toys" is a story they created a couple of years after the movie Toy Story (1995). Originally released in 1997, New Toys takes on the visual approach of toy soldiers (G.I. Joes) and uses them as an allegory for people. This is a must read story because of the hidden message and depth that is in this short story.
The Weird War Tales contributed another short story from the one-shot in 2000. It is a short story from Garth Ennis and Jim Lee called "Nosh and Barry and Eddie and Joe". Preacher was finishing up at the time of this release and Ennis would now be attached to having an "Over the top" style of writing. Reading this story today was refreshing, reminding me that Ennis did have more substance to his writing before Preacher and The Boys made him a superstar.
The Heartthrobs would contribute two stories. Steven T. Seagle (Ben 10) and Tim Sale's "Diagnosis" as well as Peter Milligan (Human Target, Hellblazer) and Eduardo Risso's "The Death of a Romantic". Both tales are tales of "Love" verses "Self" and the extremes Love can bring someone. Both are great reads and highlight why both Steven T. Seagle and Peter Milligan are underrated writers for how skilled they are.
The short lived horror anthology Flinch contributes the last two stories of this collection. "It Takes a Village" is written and illustrated by fables creator Bill Willingham and this story would be a nice way for fables fans to see other sides of this creative genius. Willingham has a playfulness to his stories, especially when he illustrates them, it is an easy access story for any of his fans. The "Resolve" would be the last story and it is one of my favorite Bruce Jones (Hulk) stories. The illustrations are done by Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing) layouts and Tim Bradstreet (Punisher) inks. The Resolve is a mean tale of after life and the bitter taste of lust. Bernie Wrightson is perfect for the tone of this story.
Overall this $8 square-bound comic is a great investment. Shoot may never be collected and the fact it saw the day of light is a gift to people who like intelligent reads. The selection of short stories were pretty good and stories like "New Toys" and "Diagnosis" are great rare reads that newer Vertigo fans should have a chance to read them. If you see this in a shop and don't have it, I suggest you get it. This is a Silkcuts must.