Lorna: Relic Wrangler - 'One Nation... Under Chaos' and other stories - Harris, Wallace, Hihnala and Youngblood
Story - When a writer finally manages to get his creation published for the first time, it's a major event. It's the culmination of everything they've worked towards, every idea they've had is focussed into one single comic, it's a wonderful thing, especially if it's a success. Unfortunately, in the case of Lorna: Relic Wrangler, I can't help but feel that Micah S. Harris has put too many eggs in this particular one-shot basket. He's obviously an enthusiastic guy, with a lot of crazy ideas, but I think he put too many into this book, and it comes out a bit of a mess.
Harris has jam-packed this one-shot, and it's central character with so much stuff that I'm left confused as to who Lorna is, and what exactly the tone Harris is seeking actually is. Is it a wacky Tomb Raider parody with a load of cheesecake and crazy non-sequitur jokes? Is it a dark comedy set in a rural town replete with hideous freaks and stigmata? Or is it a horror about a girl who wants to escape her circumstances? It's all of these things, and that doesn't really work. I feel that Harris would have been better off picking just one aspect for this character, and perhaps save the Horror stuff for another project.
Of the three stories, I much preferred the first one, despite it's deeply offensive portrayal of Britain (I joke, I don't care really). It was a silly romp and nothing more, which was fine. A lot of people these days, in a reactionary stance against mainstream superhero stories that are 'too dark and rapey' want fun and that's enough, such as the vapid and empty Atomic Robo series, and this is much the same, it's vaguely amusing, and that's it. I feel that given time, this take on the character could grow into something more, but when the writer himself, as evidenced by the back-ups, has too many ideas for where Lorna could go, I worry that take may be lost.
Overall, this one-shot is an opportunity missed. The concept of a character like Lorna is a good one, but I actually think the cover and various pin-ups do a better job with the character than the actual stories. A good concept, but execution lacking.
Art - When a book has a cover from one of the greatest artists currently working in Darwyn Cooke, the interiors have a lot to live up to. Luckily, I feel Loston Wallace did a good job. His work reminded me a lot of Bruce Timm, and fit the tone of that first story perfectly. It was the perfect mix of cartoon and sex appeal. Hihnala and Youngblood's (perfect name for an Image artist) styles also perfectly fit the tone of their stories. I just wish all three styles fitted together better. I also loved Paul Maybury's pin-up, that was amazing. I'd like to see a full Lorna story with him and Harris.
Best Line - '"Rude outfits?" "Queues?" What kinda weird code is this?' It's not a weird code, it's English!