No fancy introduction this time around for this new mini-series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Matt Brady. Let’s just get straight into the action. Is it good?
The Big Con Job #1 (BOOM! Studios)
Buck Blaster was a huge sci-fi series in the past that tons of people loved and adored, but that was a long time ago. Many of the actors and workers on that show and many other sci-fi series are pretty much washed up and are doing con jobs to make ends meet. Still, it’s not enough and it’s taking a hard toll on some of them. What now?
The first issue of this mini-series is decent, but there’s not much to it at this point. The first issue is entirely setup and don’t get me wrong—it’s pretty good setup. The comic does a great job of establishing the current state of affairs for these actors and the crummy world they are living in. You really get a good sense of why they are so desperate and so down in the dumps, including why one of them does what he does about almost halfway into the comic. It’s grim and depressing, but sadly realistic considering how things went for these people and really makes you sympathize with the rest of the characters.
But besides establishing their current situation, the story itself really doesn’t get going until the final few pages of the comic. Even then though, it’s not a big reveal or surprise if you have read the solicits (or even notice the title of this comic), so it ultimately feels like the big stuff will be going down next issue and does lead to this first outing not being all that exciting. The same thing goes with the characters in the book. While they are all very sympathetic and relatable, they don’t feel very uniquely different from one another outside of Poach and Danny. They are all sort of same in personality and their current feelings about their lives at the moment. Hopefully the rest of the series fixes that as more issues come out.
The writing on the book is fine overall regardless. The pacing is decent; never too slow or too fast. The story is structured fine and there are no awkward or odd transitions between scenes at any point. The characterization is fine, but could use some more individual development for everyone. The dialogue is good and there are a lot of strong emotional bits that really do feel effective. The ending, while we all knew was coming, is a pretty good hook and if you become invested in these characters’ plights, this should serve as a good hook for you. Overall, a well-written book so far and I hope that keeps improving from here on out.
The artwork is good overall. The characters look fine and are expressive enough, the layouts are decent, the coloring looks fine, and there’s no moment where it becomes difficult to read because of a poor panel layouts. Honestly, there’s not much to say about the artwork at this point besides that maybe the style is a bit too cartoonish given how serious the book can become. However, that’s really it. It looks good and that’s all there is to it.
Is It Good?
The Big Con Job #1 is a good start to a mini-series, with plenty of good setup and very strong emotional bits that really make you sympathize for the characters. It doesn’t really have much story going on until the end, so don’t expect until really crime related until then. However, it’s not a bad book at all and it may be worth a look.