Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Storming Paradise TPB

I usually love Chuck Dixon's work so I thought I would really dig this alternate history of WWII TPB. And it is not that the story is uninteresting or poorly researched. In fact, the problem is just the opposite, the story is so sweeping and of such a huge scope that I had a hard time connecting with any one character. The trade tells the story of a world where America's atomic program misfired, killing the scientists involved and necessitating an American offensive into Japan to close out WWII. There are a lot of neat details wrapped up in this trade.

My favorite characters are probably the two pilots, the Irish priest, and the awesome Japanese interpreter. The interpreter is the best, dealing with constant racism (both overt and not) from his fellow troops. It's great seeing him respond to even the well-meaning racist questions he gets from his squad.

There are some amusing cameos like John Wayne and George Bush who pop up intermittently and I appreciated that their parts weren't big enough to be distracting.

The problem is that everyone looks the same. If it wasn't for the American flags painted on the interpreter's head, I wouldn't be able to pick him out either. In an attempt to give the book a realistic look, the pencils by Butch Guice and Eduardo Baretto are awfully muddy. The colors are muted and dark, making it even harder to tell who's who. There are just too many characters to have any real stake with any of these guys. It's a well-presented look at conflict, I just wish it could have been a bit clearer.


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