Ah comic book reviews, the thing I love the most. I love a good comic book, hell I love comics. Even the terrible ones hold a small dark portion of my heart, and it seems that at least for now that small dark part has opened up a little more room for Servant. Or I may have died a little inside. So dear readers, we are going to go on a magical journey into my nightmares and look at things that need to change and the one thing I hope stays the same.
Servant is the story of Gabriel Barreon as told by Geoff Borgiano. Child of Pagan Gods, Superhero to the weak on Earth, and call center operative. The first issue is an origin recap, Gabriel narrating to the reader, some personal interactions to build for future issues and character intro. At some point everything feels like it is working towards a cohesive tale but it doesn’t quite seem to reach it. Let’s take a look at why.
1.) Too much cliche. I understand that as comic writers there is this unspoken need to give a sly nod to the past and the weirdness that existed back then but it is something new books should stay away from. Heroic upbringings are great when they come from a nuanced place but have a doctor and a cop as your mom and dad is about as wholesome as Ma and Pa Kent, and these days the only Superman copies that really work are the ones that skew the traditional story. Barring those narratives any sort of cliche doesn’t really work well for the audience and leaves this reviewer bored and disappointed.
2.) Computer rendered images steal from instead of adding to the narrative. Lack of emotion in the eyes, facial expressions, and the weird dead look that faces can have is an issue in many types of art but it is most consistent in computer rendering it seems. The best pop culture example of this is ReBoot, remember that show? It seems that lots of the art took a queue from that show. Now here is a bright spot in the back of the book an artist by the name of Gerry Alanguilan drew a piece for the book and the style is beautiful. Which brings to light the art issues the book has even more. The other problem with computer rendering at least in this case lots of the colors seem to be washed out which doesn’t help some of the already dissonant color scheme choices.
3.) Inconsistent dialogue. There is an odd inconsistency in the drama and comedy writing. Finding a middle ground or sticking to one consistent style could bring a bit of needed lifeblood to the book. The best example, not all characters can narrate or break the fourth wall. Especially in the superhero genre. Only Deadpool can get away with it and that depends greatly on who is writing him. If Servant picked a style and stuck with it, the writing would have been a little stronger. However it still suffers from weak dialogue that doesn’t quite match the pacing of the art which is disappointing.
4.) Too much going on for a #1. Here is why, When writing a number one of any series too much exposition is a bad thing. Which is a fairly well known point, too much exposition can tend to bog down the story and leave any reader confused. Those issues are punctuated even more if the character isn’t an established brand. If the story stuck with the origin story, the introduction of the primary bad guy of the arc or the introduction of Gabriel it would have helped hold my interest.
Overall I can’t really say I would read a second issue of Servant unless these things change. I understand how much work goes into creating a comic and I wish Geoff and Gilbert luck but Servant isn’t serving up a good time yet.