Recap for Review Group Week 267! Lorna: Relic Wrangler by Micah S. Harris, Loston Wallace, Michael Youngblood and Olli Hihnala as selected by BlueStreak.
The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse's News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate.
Hey, wow, look at that Darwyn Cook cover! This comic has to be great, right? Right?! Yeah, covers can be decieving.
Review by AMS
I hate to say it, but I didn't like this book. It was like a wierd tomb raider, pervy, archie comic. Totally not something I would be interested in.
I give it
Review by Jude Terror
The biggest problem I found with Lorna: Relic Hunter is that it was fairly confusing. I wasn't sure how the three stories fit together, or if they did. The art was decent, and I think the concept could be good, but overall the humor, at least in the first story, seemed to be having trouble deciding if it was going to be irreverent or campy, and it ended up not being enough of either. I'd give this another shot if it was an ongoing or a mini, where the characters and story could be more fleshed out. In fact, I'm surprised that, with only one issue, they wouldn't take more pages to tell one story instead of squeezing three in there with some pinups. I feel like that's something that could work for an established character that already has a fanbase, like Cassie from Hack/Slash, instead of a brand new one that should be using this opportunity to really wow readers and leave them wanting more.
Review by guitarsmashley
yeah couldn't even get through it.
Review by Stephen Day
I like to find something positive about things I review here, no matter now small. This issue is one of those cases where the positive has proven to be really hard to find.
So, the positive -- the first story's art was good and set what should have been a fun tone -- that's all I got. Having pointed out the one positive part, I now have to say that everything else wasn't good at all. The first story's dialog was obviously supposed to be funny but sadly wasn't and the plot was needlessly jingoistic. This latter particular ruined any hope of me liking the story -- in fact I can't see anyone who isn't American actually enjoying it. As for the rest of the issue, I tried to read it, but found myself just scanning through pages after a little while, so I can't say any of it held my interest.
2 out of 10, only saved from getting a 1 by the fun art of the first story.
Review by Victorian Squid
I don't know much about this one-shot from Image, but after reading it a couple times it seems like out of the 3 stories ostensibly about the same female character, the last two are stuff the writer had either self-published or was shopping around and the main story is some kind of bizarre idea an editor had to try and package it all together or an attempt by the writer to make the book marketable as a franchise. The truth may be nothing remotely close to that, but that's what it felt like. It might work better if we as readers knew the character at all, but instead of the three stories presenting different sides or takes on Lorna I had a hard time reminding myself they were supposed to be about the same person. This had less to do with the different art styles so much as the way the stories were written and the fact that they don't hang well together.
I think the main story needed to be sent back for another edit or re-write, there's some potential there but it needed to be sharper and funnier at the very least. Frankly, the art deserved better. As in a better tale to tell. The short middle gag strip and pin-ups are nothing special, there are a lot of talented creators self-publishing work of a superior quality and in a similar vein who I would recommend over this. I actually like the 3rd story a bit more, even though it's a basic Tales From The Crypt-type story. But--so the worldly adventuress from the hackneyed 1st story is also a Hooters waitress? I rather have three good stories than three stories about the same character that make no sense together.
Oh, and it's "yahtzee", not "yahtze".
Review by doombug
I can appreciate a comic that tries to be fun and different and even a little bit retro. But this was an odd read. I've been hesitant to write this the last few days as honestly? I didn't like this.
My favorite thing about all 3 stories, was the art in the first. Some of the ides and yes this is about to come from me of all people...are just too outlandish. The over the top british crazy spy and each story not really connecting to each other was just a bit too odd.
Review by starlord
I had made a personal pact to myself that I would not say anything real negative, but start looking for the good (Morisson crap being exempt), but there really wasn't much I liked here. The coloring wasn't half bad actually. The story felt like a fish out of water... at the very end. Art was meh at best. Sorry.
My Score: 2
Review by Zero
Look, in the sky! Is it a decidedly un-timely parody of Tomb Raider? Is it a bafflingly unfunny one shot? Is it piss poor cheesecake? Um, yeah actually. It's all three.
Art in the backup was nice, but it hurts to read the words.
Oh wait, I just remembered it ended with a hook for sequels. No!
Review by Punchy
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!
Review by John Snow
Um, yeah. Not good. Relic Wrangler's big problem is that it appeals to a very specific sense of humor. If you don't share that sense of humor, it's just not funny. At all. The Indiana Jones/Robert Langdon/Tomb Raider mashup isn't a terrible concept to be executed as a comic, but this lacked the ingenuity to make it work. The art and coloring in the first story was quirky and fun, but the art in the latter stories didn't hold much appeal.
Review by BlueStreak
The Internets are wrong.
*This score paid for by the Committee to Prevent BlueStreak From Getting Weird Worlded
Review by SilverPhoenix
On paper it seems like a Tomb Raider Parody Comic was meant to happen. Think about it and take into consideration the setting, plot and main character that the aforementioned franchise possesses, and you'll ask yourself why it hasn't happened sooner. Realizing the potential, the creative team of Lorna: Relic Wrangler makes an attempt to fill said void, only to miss the mark. How badly does that happen? Let's find out together.
Before we go into the bad things about this book, let me just say that at the very least the writer doesn't write dialogue that's painful to read, so you could say that there's at least some skill involved. It still doesn't excuse the fact that the main story in this book has 3 critical things wrong with the writing execution beyond that, with the first of those things being that Lorna is an unbelievable protagonist. Beyond some mission revealing exposition and some shots of dirty old men getting their jollies from Cheesecake, there's nothing there that makes Lorna anywhere near ready to be a Lara Croft stand in. Speaking of unbelievable, the Antagonist suffers from problems even worse than Lorna. Martha is not only saddled with a ridiculous motive, but the early attempt to make her look evil just makes Lorna and the writer look kind of stupid in this reviewer's eyes. Finally, this writing in the main story (and the book period) is simply not funny on any level. Sure it tries extremely hard to be funny, but it fails in every attempt to do so, making this story more of a chore to read than it should be, and since it's the main story the writer's general success or failure hinges on it, and he sadly didn't do what he had to do to succeed.
At first glance, the art in this book definitely feels like it strips the writing. From the excellent cover, to the colorful display of the first story, and the overall art style variety, it seems like this book will at least be fun to look at, and it is until you understand that the majority of the art is mostly of one singular nature. Unfortunately, Loston Wallace abuses the opportunity to draw Cheesecake Shots, and ends up drawing far too many of them. In fact, there are so many cheesecake shots, that they end up distracting from the main story itself, something that a few people will not find a problem with. As for the art in the backups, the first backup's art is without consequence in any way, shape or form, while the second backup harkens to back to the old Horror Comics, which will appeal to some, but left this reviewer flat, which can describe my feels about the overall art package.
If I had to place to book on my overall review group scale, this book would definitely be the 3rd worst book I had to review with Nemesis #3 and Weird World #1 being worse than this one. At the very least, there is something resembling effort, and unlike the other two, this did possess the 3rd Story, which was the best written one in this reviewer's eyes. It's just a shame that the overall package didn't come together to make this a truly worthwhile comic. A "Read it In the Store" Comic if I ever saw one.
Final Judgment: 4
That gives Lorna: Wrelic Wrangler a group score of 3.46. Not even Blue Streak's desperation 10 could save this from being the 2nd lowest scored book in the Review Group's history.
For what McKegan calls "all the geeky, bitchy arguing about comics you'd expect from a comic message board condensed into absolute awesomeness", check out our Lorna: Relic Wrangler thread and post your own review in The News Stand forum.
Written or Contributed by: John Martin
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