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posted April 11, 2006
Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba
Image, 20 pages, 2006, $1.99
I promised myself when I got out of bed from an amazing nap to answer the door and accept the package, that if it were a comic book I would review it immediately. It was a comic book, and although I recently reviewed the first issue of the same title, Casanova
, I'll take a shot at a few comments on this. According to the end of issue notes, "Mission to Yerba Muerta" is Fraction and Ba's nod in the direction of the Firefly
television show episode "Out of Gas" in which three narratives unfold from different points of time, crossing over and feeding into one another. They latch onto a single visual signifier (the protagonist's beard) and jump into the meat of it, following the lead character through a brief mission, two sessions of torture resulting from last issue's mission failure, and two sessions of father-son bonding resulting from same. It's a fine, solid issue of superspy comics, without that chaotic weirdness of the first two issues but with a more assured hand in terms of tone.
The only danger sign that rears up does so in the family material, which now more clearly defined after we've grown accustomed to the lead's jump in time streams (meaning new family, new dynamics) feels more like the rudimentary posturing one sees on an FX television show than either the infinite, layered nuances of a real family or the cascade of sparkling oddities that has led to some of the series' best moments so far. I want the inner lives of these characters to match the style with which their outer lives is presented, and I suspect that will be the key as to how good this so-far solid, quirky series can become.