I went after this issue because I really enjoyed the cover, with it's realistic looking bald man combined with a Saturday morning cartoon-esque hero montage. I picked it, but then I didn't read it for several days. When I did finally read it, I was really tired--and no, I'm not going to explain why I was tired here. As always, you are free to email me and ask why, and if you are nice, and if I like you, I will tell you. Anyways. I read it.
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed this comic, even though I didn't fully understand it. But, from what I've been told, nobody really understands it because it's a "more will be revealed" kind of thing. I couldn't even give a full synopsis of what i read--there's just too much going on. (In a good way!) I had to take in a giant head who is or is not the narrator of the first two pages, the Mink's army of men in purple, a whole school setting with some guy in an orange shirt who's from another planet or something and who can burn people with his hands, and a man in blue (with red cape) who eats a bald eagle that he catches with his hands, and finally, Fonzie.
From the way I describe it, you're probably asking "how can that be enjoyable?" I don't know what to tell you--it just was. In terms of structure, it breaks from being surreal narrative to episodic story at just the right time. So I got intrigued by the surreal part, and then I got sucked into the story.
Over the holidays I watched the 4th season of The Wire in about three days. I'm not going to lie--I'm kind of homesick for my Wire stories. For whatever reason, the portion of Omega dealing with the bully, the kid, and the bloodshed...well, it pretty much felt like going home again. Is there something wrong with me?
Here's a little quote from Omega to, just live with: "The problem, stated simply: food isn't food if it doesn't fly." That's something said, I assume, by the strange narrator as this silent man in blue proceeds to climb a tree and jump on the back of a flying bald eagle which he then kills with his bare hands. Then he slings it over his shoulder and hops in the back of a lunch truck to cook it up. When he's caught by the lunch truck owner, he's told, "No more of this, no more. You got to hasten your silent, eerie ass away, because I'm done with you."
I don't know if there was a "deeper meaning" to that part of the comic, but it was just good fun.
I picked this because...C'mon, it's a 1940's look, dark red cover with a man swooping a woman into his arms--hey, i'm a girl, why wouldn't I pick it? (And I would look great in that outfit. I really should have been born in the 40's--the clothes, the music...anyways.)
"He's gone. From what I gather, I've got until twelve thirty to find two killers with a deadly virus. One of the people is a Doctor I've never heard of. The other is the first woman I ever really loved."
That's the hook--omigod. With Dick Tracy-esque shadows on the first page and the above quote occurring in the last panel, I got all ready to have the voice of The Shadow, from old radio shows in my head. (I was so excited, no sarcasm.) So I turned the page, and the whole Shadow thing didn't really work. Turns out the comic had it's own cadence and sentence structure. It didn't matter. I was hooked by the masked mystery man. What a great story! Essentially, the "first woman" was Sand, the next door neighbor turned girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and the story is her tumultuous relationship with our masked man, Denny Colt. It's all mixed in with crime, revenge, sabotage, betrayal, mystery, and love. I was simultaneously lured to keep reading by both the past relationship between them and by the current storyline's "evil at hand." Aside from the storyline keeping me captivated from start to finish, the art is really cinematic, with the flashbacks occurring in hushed yellow/grey tones and the current story in full color or, my favorite, all those dark colors of mystery.
I had a new experience while preparing for the Virgin Read this time. I was grouchy and tired when I sat down to these comics, but right in the midst of reading them, I really felt cheered up. It was like a little shot in the arm. I had the opportunity to leave my present "present" and dive in, momentarily, into a totally different world. Obviously, we get to do that all the time with music, movies and tv, but those always have so much more of a time commitment. But this little quick escape was all of what--10, 15 minutes? It was so fun. So, I guess I'm kind of becoming a fan--a little bit. The Spirit was stand alone story that I didn't feel left out by, that I didn't have to catch up on--I just took the ride.
It was a great one.
-Nina Miller, 2008