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posted November 19, 2008
Jock (cover), Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin, Bruno Redondo, Sergio Arino
DC/WildStorm, comic book, 32 pages, November 2008, $3.50
Man, what the hell happened to the WildStorm imprint? There was a time I think about five years ago that between the efforts of writers like Joe Casey and Alan Moore it looked like Jim Lee's company had become a decent little publishing duplex. Renting out one side you had a handful of high-end creator-owned projects. Living in the other half you had the shared superhero universe that by emphasizing its interstellar war elements had seemingly sidestepped the problem that universes not ground in Jack Kirby's imagination seem to have of cycling through all potentially interesting plotlines and wider sagas within a few short years. Most of what I see from them these days is videogame adaptations, low-level movie cross-overs and comics that draw on such generic ideas and plotlines they read like role-playing game manuals from 1986 or so.
I'm told Push
falls under category #2, it certainly reads like something from #3, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a game at some point as well. I hate saying this, because creating is hard, and people almost always work on things with the best of intentions and with as much integrity as they can muster, but this is almost a parody of a certain kind of adventure story, where the entire world presented bends itself to an inauthentic plot line and demands of the genre as if they were the Holy Scripture made real at a wild-eyed camp meeting.
Take out the proper names and the generic nature of the plot shimmies to the surface. The government has an agency of psychic beings with special powers, which we see displayed on a mission that involves taking out a facility populated solely by husky, armed guards. There is tension at the agency over the use of these beings, and we meet a few of them in a way that fills us in on the first line or two on the casting call sheet. On a subsequent mission our lead -- loyal to the agency for personal reasons, of course -- finds out that there may be more to the eye in terms of the missions than we might expect.
It's like something a machine might create cutting and pasting from old Caliber comics and grocery store serial adventure novels. I guess it could work as a film because it's certainly a blank slate of comfortable plot elements that someone could make come to life. The empty backgrounds of the comic book version will likely become standard low-grade Hollywood sets, which tends to be a step up. But as a comic, particularly a comic for anyone who's read any type of similar work at any time in their lives and doesn't have a bottomless appetite for seeing one more thing working that same tired ground, Push
#1 doesn't say a whole lot and what it does it says in a very, very tired voice.