Overview

The Remnant #1

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The Remnant #1

Credits

  • Words: Stephen Baldwin & Andrew Cosby (story), Caleb Monroe (script)
  • Art: Julian Totino Tedesco
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Andres Lozano
  • Story Title: To Have Not
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 24, 2008

An act of domestic terrorism threatens a newlywed couple’s happiness but what does a mysterious young man have to do with it?

Some people may raise an eyebrow at seeing yet another Hollywood actor trying his hand at creating a comic book. Of course, Boom! Studios has a history of choosing comic book subjects that read like TV series or movies so perhaps this is the perfect place for The Remnant. Let’s take a look, shall we?

In post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, a mysterious man looks over several dead bodies floating in the water. He chooses one young man and seemingly brings him back to life! Now what does this young man have to do with the bombing of a Federal Building that also injures former government agent David Sacker? More to the point, what role in all of this does David’s new, young wife play? Is his newly wedded bliss over before it really began?

I really never thought I’d say this about a comic book but this story is actually not mysterious enough. There is an art to writing a story that drops just enough clues to give readers a shape of the story and piques their interest enough to keep them coming back. Drop too few clues, however, and instead everything just becomes murky and confusing. Unfortunately, The Remnant #1 is of the latter variety. There are some great characters here. David Sacker is all too human – a man who is trying to leave behind a tough career and start all over again. A man who is giddily in love like someone half his age would be. His wife, Sarah, also comes across as a gentle woman deeply in love with her new husband. There are also some great scenes and sequences here but the frustrating thing is not understanding just what this comic is supposed to be about. The blurb above the credits at the front is confusing and reveals nothing and the rest of the story gives readers no hint about the direction this story is headed. Is this going to be a sci-fi political thriller? Urban fantasy? Secret cabal out to destroy the world or secret cabal out to defend the world? Angels and demons and apocalypse...what, now?! (okay, so I stole that line from an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, sue me.) We are given a dramatic, mysterious story but we are never given any idea of the shape of the whole and without that the rest just feels like window dressing.

The art from Julian Tedesco is really quite good. He plays with light and shadow ably abetted by colorist Andres Lozano and adds just a touch of noir to some of the scenes. With the thick lines and added shading in places Tedesco also manages to give an impression of harder edges to his characters’ faces and in this one I can detect slight echoes of fellow Boom! Studios artist Paul Azaceta. If there is one complaint, however, it is that Tedesco switches back and forth between highly detailed background and very minimalist backgrounds when he is trying to emphasize the human figures. The biggest issue with this is that it is a bit too obvious what he is doing and why he is doing it and therefore it takes the reader out of the story for a bit. As complaints go though this is a minor one.

The Remnant has bags of potential. Huge, shopping bags filled to the brim with potential and from the hints that are dropped by the end of the story, the second issue should really hit the mark. On this first issue though there is a line between mysterious and murky and it falls a little too far on the murky side of that line. A bit more explanation here would have gone a long way toward hooking readers harder on the title.

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