Preview: Brodie's Law #1
Written by Alan Grant
Art by David Bircham
are two things you learn during the course of Brodie's
Law #1 that would be a lot more helpful if you got
them in the beginning. 1) It's set in England, so don't
be surprised when peoples’ accents seem a bit off
and crimelords meet with the nobility. 2) Forget about the
lead-in paragraph on the inside cover and the issue reads
a lot easier.
what I'm saying is that something in the beginning really
shouldn't be in the beginning, and the rest of the book
suffers for it.
Brodie is a badass street criminal with more grudges than
friends. His ex-wife is the standard cokefiend whore who
keeps running back to her Russian pimp when Brodie is taking
care of “business”. However, they have a son,
and Jack isn’t about to let his former spouse skip
out on her motherly duties just to score some blow. Even
if it means marching into a private nightclub filled with
armed goons and holding a gun to the dealer’s head.
follows is a pretty typical little crime story. We start
out in flashback, being told Brodie’s tale by our
gutshot hero. Then some exposition, the showdown at the
club, introduction of some more players, and, ultimately,
an excuse for Brodie to go on the warpath. Like he needs
one. The modern noir stylings of both the story and the
art give the book some appeal, but unlike, say, Sin
City or 100 Bullets, this crime story doesn’t
really set itself apart from anything else we’ve seen
in the genre. A thug with a cross to bear? It’s fun,
but nothing special.
this brings us back to the paragraph that came in the beginning
of the book. It tells us that Brodie has some kind of ability
to swap faces. The authors could be taking poetic license,
but it sounds like he can literally become other people.
It’s a great add-on to the street story with only
one problem: it never happens in this issue. I spent the
entire time waiting for him to do something “really
cool," and it was just more of the same thugging. No
body swapping or masterful disguises.
I won’t fault the creators for holding back on the
special effects, but that introduction gives readers expectations
the issue can’t live up to. If the whole thing wasn’t
some kind of metaphor, they should’ve been dropping
hints that he has those extraordinary abilities throughout
the story. If he gets them later, we need foreshadowing.
As is, I just felt rather confused.
Bircham’s art was also a bit of a mystery. I loved
a lot of his linework, despite some inconsistencies….
He may have been having a little too much fun playing around
with Photoshop, though. The partial coloring he does gives
a lot of depth to the images, but the generic background
patterns and paintbrush/blur effects tend to go way overboard,
at times. It reminds me of Bendis’ experiments on
Jinx and Torso, and not in a good way.
It’s the kind of work that looked unique and impressive
ten years ago, but feels rough and amateurish today. Really
too bad, since it mars some otherwise delicious art.
you're interested in Brodie's Law, check out Pulp
Theatre's website for more information.