Jude Terror takes a look at Wildstorm's latest, Garrison #1 by Jeff Mariotte and Francesco Francavilla!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by JEFF MARIOTTE;
Art and cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
Garrison may very well be the world's most dangerous man. In a near future where everyone's under surveillance, though, nobody knows anything about him – and federal agent Jillian Bracewell's investigation into his identity could get her killed. Writer Jeff Mariotte (Angel, DESPERADOES) returns to WildStorm with this 6-issue action/adventure miniseries spectacularly illustrated by Francesco Francavilla (Zorro)!
* Wildstorm Universe
* $2.99 US
On Sale April 28, 2010
Wildstorm has been making a new name for itself lately with a series of indie type books that you might expect to find somewhere like Vertigo or Image. Garrison is the latest entry, alongside some heavy hitters like Jeff Parker's Mysterius and David Lapham's Sparta USA. In such intimidating company, this six issue miniseries needs to come out swinging if it hopes to be noticed, and that's exactly what Jeff Mariotte, made famous by his work on licensed properties, in particular from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Universe, aims to accomplish here.
We are introduced to three characters in this issue: Jillian, a National Bureau of Surveillance operative, Bob, an agent for the Homeland Intelligence Agency, and Garrison himself, a man of mystery under investigation by both agencies. We quickly learn that Garrison is wanted for a murder spree of at least 150 people, and that neither of these agencies, which are presumably this world's equivalent of the CIA and the FBI, have any clue who he is or how to stop him. Just as this is established, however, events occur that make the reader question whether Garrison is really the villain the agencies believe he is.
Who is Garrison? Is he a serial killer? A terrorist? A vigilante hero? These are the questions this first issue begs the reader to ask, and this is what the creators hope will drive the reader to pick up the next issue. However, though Garrison is obviously the focus of this book, the real protagonist appears to be Jillian, as it is through her eyes that we see most of the story unfold. Agent Bob, on the other hand, is a one note character, a little bit sleazy, and he meets a proper end before the issue is halfway done, murdered by Garrison right in front of Jillian. Jillian, told that Bob was planning on killing her, is a little bit too trustworthy, refusing to pull the trigger despite having a wanted murderer right in her sights. Hopefully her motives will be fleshed out more in the coming issues.
Francavilla's art is perfect for this book. The nondescript faces and dark tone compliment the shadowy world of government intelligence, as well as the mysterious nature of the title character. It's not as polished as a lot of books today, but it excels in setting the mood and telling the story, proving that the artist truly understands the comics medium.
In a threatening world filled with terrorism, untrustworthy government, and political turmoil, Garrison hits all the right notes to generate interest from politically savvy fans. The first issue sets up a mystery that will keep readers coming back for answers, but it will be those answers, and, I suspect, the political orientation of the reader, that will determine whether the story of Garrison is satisfying or enraging. Either way, despite some flat characterization in the protagonist, Garrison is worth trying for at least a couple of issues as it develops its story.
Rating: TRY IT!
My rating scale:
BUY IT - You have to read this for the foreseeable future.
TRY IT - Worth at least a few issues.
WAIT FOR IT - Pick this up in trade if it lives up to its potential.
SKIP IT - Spend your money on something better.