Review - Fictionauts #1

Fictional history is littered with characters and events that are iconic. Moby Dick, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens...they're all stories you at least have heard of or know by heart. What if those stories needed "fixing" though? That's where the Fictionauts come in, the supergroup charged with fix anomalies in fictional worlds.

Studio-407 publishes Fictionauts #1, due in stores in June. It's written by Mauro Mantella and illustrated by Leandro Rizzo.

The Fictionauts are a group of individuals tasked with keeping fiction real. That is, real in the sense of fiction playing out as it should. The group include Zoo Stone, Professor Emerio Standford, Young Jack and Dalan Valley. The group rely on the Omnibook--given to them by Lady Conceptia of Ideopolis and no relation to us--to find events in fiction where something doesn't go quite the way it's written. And they fix it.

Their fictional corrections seem to be going according to plan until the Omnibook has been acting a bit strangely. It's giving the team more and more events at a faster pace, slowly tearing the universe apart in the process. Additionally, the mysterious Agent X plans to tear down the barriers separating the worlds of fiction and reality.

Mantella's got a really cool concept here. Fiction is pretty much whatever the author makes of it, but it still exists within its own finite universe. If things don't work out as they should in that universe, then the story is still forever altered. It's interesting that the Fictionauts actually go into these fictional worlds and make sure the stories play out as they should. Think Doctor Who fixing fictional tales.

While the story is great the reader has a little trouble grabbing onto the emotion of the book. It seems to oscillate between happy-go-lucky and deathly serious, with the changes often somewhat jarring. The entire book's intent may be the pulpy feel of older comics, but there are some conversations that seem more serious. It's very tongue in cheek at times, while at other times it's dramatic. It's hard to get a fix for the emotion Mantella's going for.

Rizzo's art adds to the pulpy feel as well. There's a newspaper finish to it that lends to the feel of the words. The colors are very muted, not really popping of the page at all. That's not a bad thing. It's just a contrast to a lot of the other books out there that seem to be dripping in rich colors.

Fictionauts #1 is an interesting concept. The idea of a team venturing into fictional worlds and correcting anamolies is definitely new and welcome. Bringing in Agent X as a foil could be tricky though and might take away from the group's core mission. It's likely that he'll just wreak havoc in fictional worlds and have the Fictionauts follow him through them. Hopefully the battle between the Fictionauts and Agent X doesn't take away from dabbling in fictional worlds.

Fictionauts #1 hits stores in June for $12.99. Check out some interiors below.