LOST VEGAS #1 (of 4)
Written by Jim McCann
Art by Janet Lee
Release Date: March 6, 2013
Lost Vegas is a title that suffers from style over substance. In the world of comics, it takes two halves to make a whole. While the art side of the book kept pace and even exceeded the already huge expectations, the writing and story struggled to keep up. McCann put so much into the first issue, but nothing had enough time to grow and stick with the reader. With the mini-series focused on only a few days, the pace certainly matched the rush and haste from the characters. As something interesting would come into the title, it quickly moved onto something else and with it my interest. Lost Vegas tries to tell a ‘simple’ complex story a la the ‘Ocean’s’ movie franchise, whose influence can be found in almost everything in the comic. What makes the Ocean’s Eleven movies so fun are their characters and creative problem solving, both traits lacking in Lost Vegas.
The biggest area to take a hit with trying to do so much in one issue was the character development. Roland, our slave main character, and his ‘team’ are never truly fleshed out. His supporting cast is brought in without much introduction or back story, which makes their decision to help Roland confusing. The cast, aside from Roland, wasn’t given much dialogue, and what they had to work with didn’t do much to make them stand out or give them depth. Ink, one of the most interesting and best visuals, isn’t up to par in characterization. Without a proper explanation of what Ink can and can not do, Roland’s pet/sidekick comes off as a storytelling crutch that can get the characters out of any situation. Roland may have it the worst though. By the end, he came off as arrogant and cold. The archetypal ‘charming jerk’ character is one that can go south quickly if they don’t have that human element to keep them grounded. As it stands now, he is a tough main character to root for and hopefully that changes as the series progresses and he becomes more fleshed out.
The art department was astounding from the cover to the final page. If you were flipping through comics on Wednesday to find something to buy on an impulse, the art in Lost Vegas would sell you right then and there. Chock full of splash pages and jaw dropping imagery, Lost Vegas may have the best art on a title so far in the year of 2013. Nothing is more fun than seeing what type of alien races these artists can come up, and Janet Lee does not disappoint.
While the first issue left a sour taste in my mouth, I think the mini-series will rebound. The art and design are both so impressive, that as long as the writing improves just a little then the series will be very enjoyable.