May 5 2008
The Free Comic Book Day offering from the up-and-coming group Yen Press was a sneak preview of their manga-style adaptation of James Patterson's Maximum Ride series. I've been excited about this series for months. Patterson is a much better storyteller than he is a technical writer, so I thought a comic book version of his story would be ideal: he'd come up with the ideas, and somebody less irritating would interpret them!
Unfortunately, this new version has its own issues: the storytelling is just as streamlined and fun as I'd hoped it would be, but the character designs range from "minor letdown" to "outright creepy". The evil "Erasers" all look like Wolverine from the X-Men (seriously, Marvel could sue) and I originally thought Fang was a girl. But the biggest problem I had was the character design for eleven-year-old Nudge, who was portrayed with some serious (and amply displayed) cleavage. I took an informal poll--well, I showed the comic to the three people I've talked to today and asked them to guess the character's age--and their average guess was sixteen. I realize that we're talking about a series aimed largely at young male readers, but did they have to make a preteen so physically mature? Does it serve any plot purpose? Frankly, the whole thing gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Posted by: Julianka