Saturday, May 07, 2005

COMICS: Ultra: Seven Days

Don't forget it's Free Comic Book Day! Get to your local comics shop while you still can!

I finished the Luna Brothers' Ultra: Seven Days, and I have to say, Dorian was right. It was nothing special.

It has a well-defined world, and some fairly well fleshed-out characters, with some nice moments between them. There is some cleverness to the overriding premise, but only some: reimagining superheroes as the equivalent of movie stars and supermodels is hardly original. And the most obvious influence for the story is Sex and the City, but it falls way, way short. And I don't even like Sex and the City.

It comes across as far too smug and amused with itself over how daring and clever it is (as Dorian also observed), with very little justification. It's not sly or subtle enough to be sexy, and it's too tame to be erotic. There's just the exact amount of sexual content and innuendo to hit juvenile square on the nose. I mean, they can't say "shit" or "fuck", but they can throw out oodles of lines like, "I'm no stranger to things exploding on my face," or, "Beaver Girl, I love your lips!"

And it wallows it the sex vs. violence hypocrisy: the comic can't show a nipple, but it can show graphically bloody scenes of policemen being torn in half and decapitated. Ridiculous.

The art is decent, but nothing spectacular or unique, peppered with many, many xeroxed panels, which I guess is just accepted as the norm these days. That kind of laziness still bugs the hell out of me, though. Ooh, you changed nothing but the direction Ultra's eyes were looking in these three consecutive panels. You must be exhausted.

The main story is weak -- Ultra just wants to find a nice guy! -- with only a few moments of humor or well-portrayed awkwardness to redeem it. And it just seems to peter out into anti-climactic non-resolution, as do the side stories (such as the capture of the villain, the Arsonist, or Cowgirl's crush on Ultra).

I see some potential from the Luna Brothers in this comic, but the tremendous amount of praise I've seen for them already is premature and overblown. Ultra: Seven Days was a mildly entertaining diversion at best.

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