A difficult read.

James Versus the New World Order

  • Written by Brandon Bitros
  • Illlustrated by Fernando Jiminez and Juan Emanuel Hernandez
  • Colors by Scott Reed and Ulises Grostieta
  • Letters by Pete Imbesi and Rob Jones

JVTNWO had some promise as I'd reviewed May of last year. I made a shout-out to back his campaign in January as well. Now I've got to face the music and own up to my booster-ism. This isn't a very good comic.

JATNWO as a larger graphic novel is simply a combining of its entire story arc, re-using earlier, cruder levels of artwork as its starting point. I cut Brandon some slack back then in my earlier review, thinking that future installments of this comic would improve on the artwork.

Did this improve?

Not so much I'm afraid. True, the line work did get more refined in later pages. They still don't help the comic. There's this level of bad composition and murky anatomy that continually steps in the way of investing in the story. As for the writing, there was a chance that the sub-par art could have been forgiven if the dialog and action had been more interesting to read. JVTNWO doesn't give us anything to root for, other than James Contrell, the story's hero, committing acts of counter-violence in the name of being 'bad-ass' and all.

'Bad-Ass' won't cut it by itself.

Lots of comics base their existence squarely on a certain genre. The better ones build on that using characters you can identify with that have goals you can understand. The interest for the reader then lies in whether or not the expected outcome will happen. The genre itself makes for an interesting backdrop but isn't the real reason you keep reading. I think JVTNWO misses this component.

Brandon Bitros and company made an assumption that if you start with a post-apocalyptic world all you have to do is keep on throwing in guns bombs and blood -with the occasional furtive sex- and you'll do fine. For some that's alright.

For me, this has been a difficult read.

Next Tuesday:

Four comics involving -my favorite subject- motorcycles with Road Kill Du Jour
by Kevin LaPorte!


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