The Asgardian Trade Commission 9/5/10

Posted on September 5, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

By Erik Lewis, Lead Blogger

So, this September, I thought I would do something special here at By Odin’s Beard with The Asgardian Trade Commission.  All month, I will be reviewing independent works by authors that I’m familiar with.  For example, this week I’ll be reviewing The Nightly News by Jonathan Hickman.  On with the review!

The Nightly News

Image Comics, $16.99

Jonathan Hickman

I first became familiar with Hickman through his work on Secret Warriors, and that book led me to his Fantastic Four run and his work on S.H.I.E.L.D.  I’ve heard a lot about The Nightly News, and I can understand where that comes from.  I do really enjoy the minimalist art style, and I like how every thing that goes on the page really does serve a purpose, but at the same time, since each page eschews traditional panel structure, the narrative can be hard to follow at times, and the art style on each individual panel is so low resolution, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate which characters are speaking, and the dialogue is a bit hard to follow.  The characters being hard to differentiate in the case of the talking heads that represent the various news corporations and the media themselves, but I suppose that’s kind of the point.  The story itself is a great idea, and I like the way that it really doesn’t become apparent what exactly it’s building towards until about midway through issue 3 or the start of issue 4.  The character that most adequately fits the “main character” mold has a fairly decent redemptive arc, though the way he ends up is thoroughly surprising.  The twist at the end of the book is one that seems needless, and the entire book just seems to be needlessly divisive, if I’m being honest.  Altogether, though, the clever use of infographics throughout the book, the graphic design style that the book uses, and some of the extra content throughout the book make this a very interesting book, if not an exceptional one.  Some of my favorite touches are the small things, like Hickman’s disclaimers at the beginning of each issue, the small elements that run through all 6 issues(like the infographics and the word with the star at the beginning of each issue), and things like the way the page numbers are laid out.  Overall, I’d say you can read this book if you come across it, but I don’t know that I can recommend that you actively seek it out.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

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