Daily Archives: March 25, 2008

Quick Critiques – March 25, 2008

Judgment Day trade paperback (Checker Book Publishing Group)
by Alan Moore, Rob Liefeld & various

More than 10 years ago, I reviewed the first issue of this event-driven limited series from Rob Liefeld’s Awesome Entertainment, and I wrote that while I didn’t care for Liefeld’s art, I was impressed with Alan Moore’s efforts to build worlds and myths with Liefeld’s stable of extreme, Kewl characters. I compared some of Moore’s work to DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths (I was, and remain, a big fan of that 1986 comic event). Revisiting the story in the 21st century thanks to Checker’s reissue of the trade paperback, I’m left with some of the same feelings. Moore brings some magic to Liefeld’s otherwise flat characters; the links he forges over the course of this unlikely murder mystery/courtroom drama put me in mind of the intricacies of his “Twilight” proposal for DC Comics (which never saw publication). But even Moore’s inventiveness isn’t enough to rescue this book. Liefeld’s designs are uninspired and generic, and his artwork is as painfully inconsistent as you might remember. There are a handful of the multitude of contributing artists who bring polish, brilliance and wonder to the mix, though, such as Gil Kane’s visions of masked heroes in the Old West. The Storybook Smith “testimony” was a highlight of the book as well, both in terms of writing and artwork. I’m not sure how much of an audience exists for this book; Youngblood, even though it’s been relaunched at Image Comics (see below), isn’t exactly at its apex of popularity. In 2008, it’s a little known corner of the super-hero comics market, and I question whether or not Alan Moore’s name is even big enough of a draw to lure readers to buy this mild curiosity. 5/10

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