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Review Group: Daytripper #4

48THRiLLS had the pick for new comics shipping March 10th and he selected Daytripper #4 by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon.
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The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon are serious comic booking badasses.  Umbrella Academy, Cassanova, Pixu and even some B.P.R.D.  Daytripper should have made for a mellow and upbeat Review Group week, right?  Nope, it was totally crazy.
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0310-daytripper_cover.jpgReview by Spicy Dick

For the first time since Street Fighter Turbo, I don't care to re-read this book before reviewing. That was a pointless exercise in manufactured melodrama that lacked the depth of emotional resonance that a more well-written story built around the same themes of birth, loss, and death could have. The dialogue is stilted and unnatural, it does nothing to help the reader understand these characters or bring them to life. Forgetting Bras himself, the female characters are so poorly constructed I found myself asking if the author likes women at all? The wife is flighty and possibly addled, or just, as the least important person in the story, written as an afterthought. The mother is narcissistic and demanding, and the half-sister seems distant and depressed but doesn't actually seem to have any purpose at all, either in the story or as a fictional person. Speaking of pointless, on the last page, the main character's heart just stops beating and as he passively and obediently expires, the text boxes read like an excerpt from a church bulletin recounting a recent loss of a congregant.

It would be depressing if it weren't utterly lifeless. I guess I should count my blessings.

(And the art was decent but not noteworthy beyond that nod.)

3.5


Review by GLX

You fuckers are tripping. This sucker was enjoyable. Some new elements came into the mix. The party from issue #1 is expanded on and the fates of Jorge and Bras' dad are interesting. The art was tight, as always.

8* out of 10*


daytripper16.jpgReview by starlord

When I set this book down the first thing I thought was: That was interesting. I'm not quite sure what this series is actually about, but this single story was quite entertaining. Fabio Moon has the ability to take a story and spin it into an intriging tale that brings each character to life.

Still, I have to ask, what exactly is this series about?

Story: 7
Art: 7
My Score: 7


Review by Jubilee

I..don't know what to think of that.

I mean, it felt well written, it felt important, but at the same time it felt cliche'd and it did feel a bit like it was written by a college student.

I don't know, it certainly makes you think, but as I know nothing about the overall themes of the book, perhaps it wasn't best me just picking up this issue. I find it interesting how he dies every issue, but unless that comes together well, it isn't exactly an amazing plot device.

The art was very nice though.

I don't know how to score this, so I'll give it a 6.5

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Review by doombug

So when I read the first issue of this series I think it took the scene at the bar to hook me and then I was really curious as to where things would head. The of course I got to issue #3 and was still confused but really pulled in by Bras as a character.

Bras through the story seems to be your typical struggling writer who does his best to do right by his family friends and in some cases the women he falls in love with. What was interesting in this issue was the exploration of a slightly older bras relationship with his parents and his wife who was about to have their first child.

The exploration between Bras and the mysterious girl who he once let get away was a highlight for me. I really enjoyed the over all mystery of who she was and how she was connected to his father. (not sure if I read it right but was she a love interest for Bras or was she his father's illegitimate daughter from another woman?)

The art is as as strong as the brothers have every been in my opinion. I feel that you can't tell exactly which brother is drawing what and their styles really seem to mesh together extremely well.

I'm really curious to see exactly how Bras is still alive at these different points in his life and just what everything means. My current theory is that we are following Bras as he writes a book that will be successful about a fictional version of himself who dies after several important moments in his life.

Art: 10
Story: 7.5
Overall: A solid 8


daytripper11.jpgReview by Punchy

Story - Daytripper is a book you have to look at on two different levels, each issue stands alone, and you have to look at how it works as a full story in the life of Bras De Oliva Domingos. But there's also an overarching story here, each issue tells a day in the life (or so) of Bras during different points of his life, but at the end of each issue, he dies. But then the story picks up again, and the events that happened prior to his death still happened. In #3 Bras saw a woman in a shop, ran after her and got hit by a bus, aged 28. But in this issue, aged 41, he's married to that woman! What's going on? There's a mystery there, why does he keep dying?

On the first level, this issue of Daytripper is just as accomplished as the previous 3, Bras is a very engaging, and very real character, he's got human fears and worries, and I do find myself interested in his life. Perhaps the fact that we're seeing it holistically, all over his life, that makes him seem real, we get to know him as a callow youth, and now as a mature man. It makes him very well-rounded. I wouldn't have expected that Ba and Moon could be so good at human touches, considering that their artwork is normally accompanied by over the top crazy action stories like Casanova and Umbrella Academy.

The crux of this issue, and of much of the series before it, is father/son relationships, Bras' father is a famous author, and Bras himself a struggling one, and when you combine the impending birth of Bras' son, and the death of his father, it's all one big fatherly mess. You would think that after reading a ton of comics and watching 6 seasons of LOST I'd be bored of father/son relationships, but they are an eternal theme I think, and I think Daytripper has a more down to Earth take on them.

Then you've got how this issue ties in with the over-arching story of Bras' constant deaths and rebirths. In this issue he has a heart attack, like his dad. It's another solid moment, even if you know it's coming (and you do), it's still interesting. There aren't many hints here as to an overall 'Why', the biggest came in #2, but I did like this line of dialogue: "No matter how hard he tried to block it all out... people will keep dying". Little does Bras know he's talking about himself! There are some other little links to the bigger picture, a mention of Bras' friend Miguel, who seems to be dead (for real), and a flashback to events immediately after #1 (or a version of #1 where Bras isn't murdered).

In the end, I don't think the overall reasoning for why Bras is actually dying every issue is really necessary, I think it may be a simpler point that we could die any day, and we should appreciate every day. A 10-issue version of 'Where clean underpants in case you get hit by a bus'. I'm enjoying myself enough just reading about Bras' life and learning about this fantastic character. The death thing is just a hook to get you in to a more meaty story. This is highly recommended by me, this is a book with real emotion behind it, and a character you definitely care about.

Art - I knew Fabio Moon was a fantastic artist after reading Casanova: Gula (take that trade-waiters, I've read it! Buy the singles!), but I am surprised by how well he's adjusted from super-spy shenanigans to more realistic subject matter. I particularly like how Bras still looks like the same person aged 41 here as he does aged 28, or 21, it's very good stuff, and makes the story work, it wouldn't be as effective if Bras looked like a different person every time. The colouring by Dave Stewart is also very good, I'm used to Moon's work in monochrome blue, and the colours add another layer. On top of the meaty story each month, Daytripper is an artistic treat too, now just get back to Casanova!

Best Line - I've already mentioned it, but it's: "No matter how hard he tried to block it all out... people will keep dying"

8.2/10


daytripper10.jpgReview by Zero

Spoiler:

Bras dies at the end.

Something that sounds so big is really nothing of the sort, and it's fairly obvious to anyone who's been reading every issue that the most important days of Bras' life have all been capped off with him thinking up his own obituary. Asking himself how he'd be remembered. Seems like a weird thing for anyone to do, but Bras is introspective and constantly seems unsure of himself. So why would the creators have said that this is a comic about life?

Because every issue shows us one of the key days in a man's life and here we've got the day Bras becomes a father, and loses his own. The dialogue isn't perfect, but it's certainly easy to hear the characters speaking, albeit in heavily accented English. The story is slight but with plenty of room to breathe and more than any issue since the first it provides fuel for further stories.

That the story is so easy to read is helped a great deal by the art. I doubt anyone expected a Moon\Ba comic to be ugly, but this is career best work from the boys with soft colours making the grounded art pop far more than the OTT trip that Casanova was or the demented pop art in Umbrella Academy. God it's a pretty book to look at and ultimately it's the prettiness that helps overcome the slim story and slows the book down. It makes 22 pages feel like 24 hours and it's a joy to read.

Not exactly heavyweight stuff but it's pretty enough for that not to matter.

8/10


daytripper06.jpgReview by 48THRiLLS

I have really really liked this book so it bums me out a little that I didn't like this issue as much as the 3 before. It is not that i disliked this, it just fell a little flat with me. I am not sure I can handle 6 more issues of Bras dying before I see some sort of explanation of what the hell is going on, is he a symbolic everyman and these are just random stories or is he not physically dying and we are seeing moments where he is dying inside? I will keep on buying this because my interest is piqued just enough and the art is damn good but I have reservations and I hope that this is not one of those books where it ends unexplained and the reader gets to choose their own ending or portray it ion their own way... I am not that imaginative and a little dumb so hopefully they spell it out for me. The art is just as good as the other issues, I can't explain why I like it but i know that I just do and that is my professional opinion. I think my main problem is that this needed more Bras being run over by a van and none of this cliched he died of a broken heart crap.

STORY - 7
ART - 9
OVERALL - 7.5


Review by amlah6

Count me among those that are waiting for the trade for Daytripper. I haven't read any recaps or spoilers for the first three issues so I didn't really know what to expect, but I found it to be a nice little stand alone story. It's a pretty basic life/death tale that could be seen as a little cliche, but when you combine it with the art of the brothers Ba and Moon complimented by the always perfect colors of Dave Stewart it makes for an excellent 22 page comic.

Story: 7
Art: 10
Overall: 8.5

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Review by Kerny

This is an interesting book for me. I wasn't blown away by the first issue, but I was intrigued by 2 and 3, and now 4 is back to stale for me. Bras "death" this issue was the dumbest one to me yet. I just hope something happens soon that brings it all together. because it's getting kinda stale to me. The art is anything but, however. Just great stuff from the brothers.

Story 6
Art 10
Overall 8


daytripper03.jpgReview by guitarsmashley

I don't know how to fully review this book. This issue did nothing for me, if the point of the review book would be to get me to pick up the next issues or in this case find the last 3 this book didn't do that for me. It couldn't even conjure the feeling to want to buy the trade. Based on that the issue was just flat and the story doesn't fully grow on me to something I want to care about and while the characters seem like flesh and blood their lives are boring and the death barely registers any time it happens. The art is alright but I'm not a moon/ba fan. It wasn't bad or good but it was better than the mediocre crap we review.

5.8


Review by MrBlack

I knew nothing about this series coming in, aside from the main character's name. During my initial read, the ending completely blew me away. I thought it was incredibly ballsy to kill the main character in the story four issues into a series.

Then I learned that Bras dies at the end of every issue. Well, that certainly takes away from the impact of that scene! Still, I will give the creators credit for putting together a single issue that really had an effect on me, especially since I am an expectant father, and one who is under a lot of stress at the present moment. You can really feel the tension building around Bras through the issue and then in one small moment in all comes crashing down on him.

daytripper01.jpgThe art was a perfect fit to the issue. It was a nice mix of cartoonish and realistic, and the artist is very capable of getting each character's emotions across to the reader.

I know this is part of a larger series and that there is some major twist at the end. I know some people did not like this issue as much as other ones. I know that some people thought the attempt at emotion resonance in this issue fell flat.

But fuck it. I liked this issue.

Story: 10
Art: 10
Overall: 10
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That gives Daytripper #4 a group score of 7.29.  How random was that?  Probably not as random as this or this.

For more randomness, gun play and performance art trolling (I'm assuming performance art at least, I kind of doubt fourthman was really kidnapped and replaced by a YouTube comments poster), join us in this week's thread found in the News Stand forum where you are also invited to post your own review. 
Comment or post your own review!
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0317-irredeemable_cover.jpgMrBlack has the pick for March 17th and he has selected Irredeemable #12 from BOOM! Studios.  Look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning.

Irredeemable #12

Writer(s): Mark Waid
Artist(s): Diego Barreto, Peter Krause

With Modeus at last revealed and standing by Plutonian's side, the Paradigm--and the world--have no defense against Armageddon! But is this the end? Or only the beginning? A not to be missed issue of BOOM!’s bestselling apocalyptic superhero ongoing by multiple Eisner Award-winning KINGDOM COME and EMPIRE author Mark Waid.
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