Monday, August 6, 2012
Review - Good Samaritan: Unto Dust #1
The new look book is written by Mike Luoma, illustrated by Federico Guillen and colored by Ken Lateer.
Father Bill Sullivan is a priest who finds joy at night in a slightly different way. He masquerades as the vigilante Good Samaritan in 1965 Boston. His power? The Power of the Holy Spirit, compelling criminals to return to their origins in some cases.
He gets dragged into a murder where he becomes the main suspect. The murder, a strange cat demon terrorizing the streets of Boston, a supposed strangler and a new cardinal on the scene all play into his problems as well. Oh, and he's also accused of getting too friendly with a charity case named Maria.
The premise behind Good Samaritan: Unto Dust #1 is intriguing, but it's a little rough around the edges. The entire story reads a little formulaic and Luoma has a lot of it narrated by Sullivan himself. With all the inner monologue on display, it's like reading a Spider-man book, only instead of web-slinging there's smiting.
There's also an inbalance in emotion. It seems like every bit of dialogue is presented as super important, which brings all the dialogue to the same level. That is, it feels like nothing is important. Reading it you can't help but feel the characters just yell at each other all the time.
The initial copy we reviewed was missing a page (we've since read a revised copy) and actually that page did help in bridging a previous gap in story. It helps flesh things out a bit more and gives the story more context, both of which help it make a bit more sense. It's not that it's a mind-altering page or anything, but it does help the story make more sense.
Guillen's art is fresh and the chalk look is appropriate for the work. None of the settings feel like Boston though, which makes it difficult to really get immersed in the story. This is supposed to be 1960s Boston, but most of the skyline was built up by then, none of the tall buildings really seem to show up here.
The concept of the hero doing God's work certainly isn't new by any means and Luoma does present an interesting take on it. Father Sullivan seems a little too introspective though, which pulls the reader out of the story. Good Samaritan: Unto Dust #1 does present an interesting look at the Catholic priesthood and their changing dynamic and it's something that could have a big payoff in the second issue.
Good Samaritan: Unto Dust #1 is available now.