Thursday, 28 August 2014

Wildcats Version 3.0: Full Disclosure Review (Joe Casey, Dustin Nguyen)


You know what this book is about? A car battery. Seriously. That’s “the plot”. 

If I didn’t tell you that this is a superhero comic, you wouldn’t be able to guess. Most of the characters are guys in suits trying desperately to appear clever and totally failing because their actions and dialogue don’t convince. Grifter - the guy with the handkerchief? – is in a wheelchair for the whole book, smoking. Spartan, who goes by Jack Marlowe these days, lives up to his name by using his powers in a spartan fashion. And that’s it – the rest of the cast are made up of office managers and accountants who couldn’t be more tedious to read about. 

In Batman, there’s an argument that Bruce Wayne would do more good with his wealth and power as a billionaire than Batman ever could as a vigilante. Joe Casey uses that time-worn idea in this book by having his “superheroes” use their global Halo corporation to fund the creation of a battery that never runs out. Except Casey never goes further than have the battery exist. Once that’s done, the characters are at a loss as to what to do next. I was willing them to kill themselves but unfortunately they didn’t. 

It’s difficult to know what I hated more – the lack of any story or the despicable characters. One character called Agent Wax is a psychic who uses his mind control powers to hypnotise his boss’s wife in order to make her totally vulnerable and then repeatedly rapes her. A paranoid office manager called Sam Garfield believes his staff is made up of spies and then, on the drive home one evening, his road rage gets the better of him and he shoots an innocent man through the throat.

Grifter meanwhile is busy training up an accountant called Edwin Dolby to become a world-class assassin for some reason. They spend about half the book on this pointless sidestory. Edwin goes on a mission to somewhere for something, fails, then his role as assassin is forgotten and he goes back to being an accountant. Elsewhere, a woman called CC Rendozzo is blackmailing Spartan over something. Fucking hell, Joe Casey can’t write for shit!

I did like two things: Dustin Nguyen’s art, and the fact that Sam Garfield’s office staff WERE spies – though unfortunately Casey goes no further with that setup.

I got this one after DC recently announced that they were never going to republish this book again (along with another dozen or so books). However, after reading it, I can see why they made that (easy)decision. I have no clue why anyone would rate Joe Casey highly or why this series is considered “influential” when its empty of ideas and features a cast of one-dimensional characters I would never tire of seeing repeatedly hit in the face with a crowbar. 

Wildcats? More like Mildcats. Full disclosure: this book is crap.

Wildcats Version 3.0: Full Disclosure

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