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Full Moon Fever
posted September 14, 2005
Joe Casey, Caleb Gerard, Damian Couceiro
AiT/Planet Lar, $12.95, September 2005.
Joe Casey's superhero writing interests me because he has an odd sense of humor that translates into his scene work timing and because he seems to have settled on adult responsiblity as a major theme of his corporae comics work. This can be a fun idea to trot out because superheroes embody a version of uniformed-cop duty but are also obviously frivolous, which fairly captures the post-Vietnam generation's mixed feelings about becoming an adult. When you read Casey's more alternative material, you generally get the sense of other, deeper thematic issues sometimes tied into family. I'm not certain he knows what to do with some of those feelings, making that material dense, offbeat and odd.
So if Joe Casey's superhero stuff is about responsibility and his more indy/alternative work about personal issues and family, what is Full Moon Fever
about? It's about werewolves
, actually. On the moon. This work with co-writer Caleb Gerard and artist Damian Couceiro reads like an exercise in pre-sold Hollywood properties. [And it is! At least google says so, and google never lies] The plot sounds like that of a film. Space plumbers go to the moon. Instead of astronauts and marines, space plumbers encounter werewolves turned that way because of an experiment gone bad. Lots of fighting, random slaughter and running away. Witty remark. Witty remark. The end. Casey and Gerard squeeze a few moments of interest out of the tension and action scenes, and there's a funny line or two, but they don't really do enough to make this a signature work. I'm not sure it can pass fanboy muster because the concept/hook isn't explored as fully as you'd think, particularly the "on the moon" part. Unlike Steve Niles' vampires in 30 Days of Night
reveling in their month-long period of darkness, the werewolves here aren't more werewolf-like for their proximity to the moon, they don't seem to be super-werewolves or anything. Unless I missed something, it could have taken place in an antarctic base (hey, don't steal my pitch). The art is fuctional; the staging of each scene and the design of the wolves are each far better than how the individual set pieces move once they start and the visual signifiers given the people characters, respectively.
All in all, I don't think the book went far enough in any single direction to satisfy our expectations of this kind of art as lurid pulp. It wasn't tense enough to be an effective rollercoaster ride, or funny enough to be a comedy, or lushly drawn enough to be an art showcase or violent enough to shock or disgust. The ending was odd, too; I didn't understand the unique nature of that specific reveal, given all that we'd seen before. This book will likely offend no one, but I'm not sure it will genuinely thrill anyone, either.