Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review - One-Hit Wonder #1


"That's the idea doc...that's the idea!"

Childhood actors get a lot of grief for all their troubles. Sure, they typically bring in ratings for their respective shows, but Hollywood has a way of chewing them up and spitting them out. Image Comics has a book that offers a slight twist on that story in One-Hit Wonder #1. The issue is written by Fabrice Sapolsky, illustrated by Ariel Olivetti, bonus art by Jean-Marie Minguez and lettered by The Wolfpack.

Like most child actors turned adults, Richie Reese is sitting on a therapist's couch, talking about what it likes to be famous. Their session plays out like a script in a bad movie, up to the point where Richie pulls a gun on his therapist. That's where the fiction ends and fact begins, as Richie pulls out a gun and shoots the therapist. From there, he's tasked with another mission that involves killing a woman who's a triple agent and working with the Feds to expose Charlie, Richie's agent and handler.

Sapolsky's premise starts off in a very interesting way, with a former child star upset that the audience has forgotten who he is. His subsequent killing spree is very much a reaction to that void and he manages to be very good at it. The thing is that talent comes with excessive hubris, prompting him to spout some really cheesy one-liners and interact with dialogue that's pretty outrageous. Tapping into that zaniness is some pretty ridiculous action sequences, one of which is highlighted by rockets being fired from a car. The story feels a little trite and almost a little meta when it comes to Hollywood, as it seems to handle Hollywood as almost a satire of itself. That could be by design, but by and large the story just comes across as pretty vapid in the end.

Olivetti's illustrations are very photorealistic and a little unnerving. The characters look about as fake as their personalities, but they do manage to effectively convey the action. Richie always looks angry, which could be a reality for him all things considered. Some of the characters have difficulty conveying the proper emotion, primarily because every character seems to show the same facial expression regardless of the situation. The art also feels a little detached from the story, as the script feels like it's on one level and the art is on another level. There are quite a few pages with panels stacked one upon the other, some of which are a little busy to the reader's eye.

One-Hit Wonder #1 is a book that is aiming to achieve something grander than what the story is actually about. It seems to be satirizing the Hollywood, starlet culture, but the characters and story come across as a lot less intelligent than that. Sapolsky spins Richie as a psychopath plain and simple, even if he's hiding behind a motivation of rebelling against that same society that's obsessed with him. Olivetti's art is consistent throughout the book and harnesses a look similar to that found in photographs. One-Hit Wonder #1 will likely turn off a lot of readers because of the excess of violence, but even beyond that, the story doesn't quite seem to live up to its own lofty expectations.

One-Hit Wonder #1 is in stores now with interiors below.






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