And so we reach November and continue our adventures with new Vertigo books. This time, from the writer of Martian Manhunter, we got Rob Williams’ Unfollow. Is it good?
Unfollow #1 (Vertigo Comics)
Something is about to change for 140 people. The creator of this special app worth over 17 billion dollars is dying and is willing to give his fortune away to these 140 people. However, what exactly is the catch to this?
The strongest part of this first issue are the characters. Rob Williams does a fantastic job when it comes to the characterization and making everyone feel unique and wholly different from one another (whether it be in a few pages or even just one). You learn all you need to know about them in their interactions with other characters, the choices they make, and in the things they say (though admittedly, the dialogue goes up in down in quality at times) David, Larry, Courtney, Ravan, and more… this entire cast feels unique and that’s great. It should make whatever happens next more intriguing and exciting going forward once we actually know what is going on.
The rest of material in the book is pretty ho-hum though. Not bad, but nothing too great either. The writing is perfectly efficient and does the job with the pacing and story structure, while Mike Dowling’s art is quite alright. He is good with constructing panels and layouts that make things easy to read, he’s good with drawing scenery and locations, and his characters usually look fine in their expressions and such. Though, it does feel like he goes a bit too overboard with the amount of detail and lines he draws on a character or objects. At times, it almost looks like characters are made of stone or rather silly looking.
The biggest problem with Unfollow is that it’s hard to get a good feel for what you are in store for and it’s kind of dull. The issue doesn’t really do or say much beyond introducing a bunch of the people would will be a part of the 140 and implying that there is something sinister afoot (heck, the solicitation reveals more about the plot than the actual issue itself). That’s really everything that happens and for a first issue of an indie series, that’s not a great way to make a first impression or get people invested. There’s no apparent hook in this first issue and nothing really urges you to want to stick around. Even the ending feels like things just sort of petered out by just showing another random individual becoming one of the 140 and nothing else. This is an issue that just needed a few more pages and something to really capture the audience’s attention with its story (and not just a talking leopard that appears out of nowhere, makes no sense, and does not fit the tone of the book). It’s ultimately just not that engaging.
Is It Good?
Unfollow #1 is a hard one to crack. It’s not poorly written or drawn by any stretch, but it’s not particularly thrilling or exciting either. The story barely gets going (it felt more like this was a #0 if anything) and we don’t really have much of an idea of what to expect from the comic either. Overall, even if it’s not bad, I can’t really recommend the comic at this current time since there isn’t much to get out of it. Maybe once another issue or two comes out, then Unfollow may be worth your money.