HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Graphic Depictions Today's Date:


I love Image for the chances it takes with its publishing. Without their willingness to give both tested and untested creators a chance to do comics with less editorial controls than the Big Two, we wouldn’t have books like The Walking Dead or Rex Mundi. But with their willingness to publish the obscure and overlooked, sometimes the ambiguous and underdeveloped will sneak in through the side door. I am of course speaking about the subject of this review, Six by Michael Avon Oeming, Daniel Berman, and Ethan Beavers.

I am not positive I could actually tell you what Six is about, and apparently there are those at Image that agree with me since the back of the comic carries no description of what lies beneath the cover. The only thing on the back cover is a glowing snippet of review from someone at Wizard magazine. Since Wizard reviews are almost always glowing, no matter what subject matter, I trust this about as far as I could throw a public bus.

As it is my duty, here’s my shot at explicating; Agent Six is a hunter of rogue agents, but he’s not your everyday spyhunter. Six is from something called Galaxy One and he hunts down rogue agents that have escaped from their usual job of observing Earth the way psychologists fuss over rats. It seems that time on Earth makes the agents go crazy, and when they do Six hunts them down and transmits their consciousness back to Command for cleansing. That is, until Six starts to feel the effects of Earth as well.

Half of what I have written up there is guessing on my part. The script for this story is so ambiguous and devoid of content that I’ve actually explained most of the plot within the above paragraph. At fifty-six pages, Oeming and co-writer Berman had very little time to tell a story and failed utterly at it and despite the last page featuring the tagline “End Act 1” I somehow doubt we’ll see a lot more of this Agent Six. There’s no character in the script; Six not only has nothing that separates him from anyone else in the book, he doesn’t even have a name. The only other characters that appear are also nameless, using a number designation. I cannot think of an easier way to alienate the reader.

Their script is also spotty and jumpy in terms of actual plot. We’re given almost nothing about what exactly Galaxy One is. Is it another galaxy in our universe? Is it another plane of existence? Even when Six communicates with the equally mysterious Command, the authors aren’t sure exactly how to present it; in one scene Six receives commands that show up as white block lettering, and in later scenes it appears that Command speaks through along, nonsensical stream of consonants and vowels. There’s no information about anything in this entire comic, which is just wrong. Even when writing to entice the reader into reading the next volume, even when being stingy as far as giving away one’s plot, you have to give some information to the reader to make them care about reading the story.

The artwork by Ethan Beavers is serviceable, and the additional inks by Oeming himself helps, but I have some serious issues with Beavers' style. I’m not actually sure it is Beavers’ style. Half of the panels in this book look as if Oeming took over art duties where Beavers might not be up to the task. Either Beavers is a devout fan of Oeming’s work and likes to honor the artist by aping his style, or Oeming is the guy who taught him to draw. I will say that Beavers seems more than capable of staging dynamic panels that move and describe action well, but again I see echoes of Oeming. Beavers' also has a good grasp of negative space and uses to surprisingly interesting effect in some places.

I’m not sure what Oeming and Berman were going for with this comic; my best guess is that they were thinking of creating something along the lines of Shade the Changing Man, maybe trying to give it a flavor of Steve Ditko, but here non-plot is not crazy enough, and the black and white art is nothing close to the frightening genius of Ditko. Even for $5.95, I wouldn’t pick this up because it’s six bucks wasted on a slim piece of almost-nothing that probably only got green-lit because Oeming’s name was attached.

Robert Sparling

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites