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posted April 28, 2005
Mike Baron, Mel Rubi, Barbara Kaalberg, Brett Evans, Rus Wooton
Image, 28 pages, $2.95, 2005.
I read this twice before I realized it was from Mike Baron, at which point some of it made more sense. Baron writes out of a Midwestern and Mountain-State sense of place more than any mainstream comic book writer of the last 20 years. This seems to be about a person who enters the bottom rung of an international terrorist community from a good ol' boy's fascination with M80s and making powder bombs to set them off in the woods. Much of the comic itself, though, escaped me. I literally couldn't keep up with it. Essentially, it's a lot of combative back and forth between the newbie, a scar-faced veteran bad guy, and a costumed wild card who has a relationship with the scar-faced guy. Various law enforcement personnel skitter around the edges of the story. For this to work it would have to unfold in sterling, high-tension manner, and it just doesn't. The only surprise, a trap, is mitigated by the affected character's reaction to being wounded. I never got the sense of what was at stake, both literally and in terms of the physical relationships. Without that kind of suspense, much of Detonator feels like we're being marched through action scenes as if by requirement of law. The art seems generally muddy, too, mostly the coloring, in a way that reminds me of early Malibu stuff where they just didn't have the technology down yet.