Saturday, May 27, 2017

Underwinter #3 Review and **Spoilers**

I See London...

Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Ray Fawkes
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 24, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99
Underwinter has been a book that has absolutely plagued me. I knew nothing going in other than it being a horror book that seemed to be an anthology going from story to story. Two issues in and I can do nothing but hope that my issues with the book are due to this specific story and that it could possibly get better when moving on to a different story. With this issue I go in just hoping it becomes coherent and the art become more distinguishable.

My hopes go out the window immediately. This book looks like shit. It seems with this issue we’re actually getting outlines with some pages as possibly the art was too indistinguishable with only the water colors previously? It doesn’t really help convey any kind of information, but it’s at least makes it a little more understandable as to what is on the page.

As we start, with possibly the worst page in the issue, we get one of the band members disheveled and in the snow.  We get some narrative style boxes during this time that makes it a little unclear on who is giving it, but it almost gives the impression that this band member has somewhat of an idea of what is happening to them. Which would make sense as I assume this is the band member we have previously seen look under their mask while they were playing to get a glimpse of the monster? It does make me somewhat happy that stuff is at least making sense within itself, even if we’re not getting clear distinctions between narration and characters.

We then head off to catch up with the rest of the band as they themselves have not heard from their other band member and take it as sign that he’s on another bender or some sort of tirade. This all comes over as they discuss their various ways of spending their money, which is only important because one of them seems to have spent his on a Napoleon style elegant blue and gold overcoat. It just looks so hilariously stupid because it feels like this was the only way to convey someone spending money on elegant clothes with this detail lacking art style. This also leads to one of the female band members seducing one of the guys while the elegant coat wearing guy watches. I can’t actually keep up with any of these characters because of their lack of details, but I was wondering during this scene if this was supposed to be a gay couple that this woman is now seducing. I don’t think it takes away too much from the scene if it’s not as this scene does do a decent enough job of conveying it as uncomfortable. The woman doesn’t seem to want this and almost as if she’s doing it out of spite, while the man watching is uncomfortable and not happy while the third man just seems like an innocent victim in this entire exchange but gets no real side of the exchange.

As much as I’ve been down on this book, this scene does do a pretty good job of conveying that uncomfortable sense of dread.  I can only assume it would have been conveyed in a better manner if there was more distinguishing and establishing done with these characters. I’ve largely felt like the character moments in the previous issues were largely served as cliché hipster style dialogue that conveyed very little of the actual characters and more just gave the idea of one character being the leader type and one character being the drunken screw up. Besides that they’ve been little more than fodder which makes this scene, although unsettling, fall short of what I feel it could have done.

Afterward we get some more terrible art while we see Eleanor talk with her brother as they talk about why she wasn’t at the family holiday get together. This scene is meant to be similar to the last with it conveying the further downfall of this band but with the worse art and the unintelligible progression of it, it’s hard to grasp the full breadth of what were supposed to getting from this. Eleanor and her brother are watching two people get in a fight, but it’s hard to understand if its in person or if they’re seeing it on T.V. but Eleanor is taking great pleasure from it as the brother is repulsed. As the conversation and fight both progress it seems glass starts to come from Eleanor as she explains it to be more than glass, but only perceived as glass.

With the conclusion we get the band back together, along with the drunk who had previously been found on the doorstep of their client’s estate, for their next arranged gig. We get a little dialogue as we get some mangled art of a bird and instrument.

This book really annoys me. I like the overall premise and idea of what this story seems to be going for. I get the idea of what is happening. I just feel that there is very little reason for it to be a comic with absolutely horrible art that does nothing but make the story more incomprehensible and does not work in any way as a partner to build the story up. The characters are impossible to distinguish, there is little to no information gained from the art other than a mishmash of imagery that further confuses rather than adds to the confusion from the story.  If this stories objective is to cause a sense of confusion while building a mystery it even fails because there is no glimpse of even what this is heading to. If the absolute worst is the characters going mindless or dying as previously seen in past issues I can’t say I care because I know nothing about these characters because they’re already lifeless personifications of hipsters that also happen to be failing musicians.
Bits and Pieces:

There is absolutely nothing gained from this third installment. I fail to understand what this story gains from being applied to sequential art, especially when the art is insufferable and lacking of detail. I give this issue a slightly better score than the previous issues as it actually had a scene that didn’t fail entirely.


No comments:

Post a Comment