Review - Marksmen #1

Not quite sure how much I’ve got to say about this yet.

For starters- HUGE fan of the art in this book, boasting the talents of Javier Aranda, Garry Leach, Jessica Kholine and a cover by Tomm Coker. I mean, the character images are nice, standard comic book fare. The backgrounds and the conceptual design are pretty exotic, I have to say. It’s sort of like what I would envision if the Road Warrior, Fallout and a Clint Eastwood movie had a baby together.

Seriously, Marksmen #1 gets big points just for being a really cool setting. The story by David Baxter and Dave Elliot features lots of action that's all wild west style and it happens FAST. In fact this comic is pretty much all action so far. Not uncommon for a first issue, but I think that’s the ‘style’ that this book is all about. And the fight choreography isn’t half bad. But see maybe that’s a problem. Sometimes I feel like this comic can’t figure out what it’s trying to be yet.

Maybe the most interesting thing about Marksmen #1 is just how Drake McCoy does WHAT he does. That is, the way he fights and the way he resolves conflicts. But then again, maybe the most interesting thing about McCoy is his personality, what makes him tick and the people that he ends up surrounded by.

It’s sort of like these two conflicting views of the hero. Is it the Marvel comics style where you really understand the hero and can kind of imagine yourself BEING the hero and knowing everyone they know? Or is it the DC comics style of you’re as mystified as the hero’s opponents by their seemingly incredible ability to finish the job? Not that those are the only two styles, but this book has that sort of character vibe in a sense.

I really like the opening of Marksmen #1. I really like it when a comic is willing to just make the action the meat of the comic. Panels of fighting with little text or narration, emulating what a fight might really look like, is no boring comic to me. It’s just that about half way through, the comic kind of detours into McCoy rescuing the obligatory gunslinger-chick love interest and talking and all that. It’s this sort of identity crisis, I think, halfway through the issue.

So, it begs the question: who IS Drake McCoy exactly? Is he the ‘Man With No Name’? Or is he that modern action hero who gets by with a band of 3-5 characters that he relies on to help him? Right now, I feel like the writers are trying to do both. And it feels a little awkward to me. Still, the book has got style and I think there’s potential here. The book should be in stores now.