May 21 2009

A brief review of Gigantic #1

Published by at 6:13 am under Comic Book Reviews,Comic Books

Gigantic #1 is an issue that starts out spectacularly. I can’t think of any series that are as immediately engrossing. But, aside from the beginning, it was a disappointment. The main character has to be likable and stylish, and Gigantic is neither.

The opening is fantastic. It throws an intriguing premise at you right away.  The first panel introduces an alien that sounds a lot like a TV producer.  This is a perfect combination of a cool character voice and premise.

page1excerpt

The setup is complete by page 4. That’s remarkably fast and gets us into the story right away.

page3gigantic

Ok, so that’s the good news.  The first four pages were exciting and stylish.  (Neat visual with the claws!)  But everything after page 4 made me want to claw out my eyes.

The two human characters do very little, which makes them feel boring and irrelevant. They run into Gigantic as he accidentally tears up San Francisco, but they don’t actually do anything.  They may have gotten killed at the end, but whether they did or not totally wouldn’t matter.  Neither one has demonstrated any personality yet.

The titular robot, Gigantic, has a very unappealing personality. He’s rather whiny.  Part of the problem is that he does a hell of a lot of monologuing.  He comes off as someone in serious shock, but to paraphrase the TV producer from panel 1, who would want to read the whiny ramblings of a shock victim?

  • Internal monologue:  Dear God, no!
  • To a shrieking mob of people:  No, please, it was an accident.
  • Internal monologue:  No, not a… wasn’t supposed to be… [a city]
  • Internal monologue:  The screams… thousands of them…
  • Internal monologue:  A dozen screams go silent…
  • To bounty hunters:  Please, you can’t do this.  Get me out of here… you can’t let this…
  • Internal monologue:  …wasn’t supposed to happen.
  • Internal monologue:  How many now… how many have I [killed]…
  • Internal monologue:  Every second I’m here… how many…

The pacing is very fast. This comic is only 24 pages long, and 16 of those are an extended action/whining sequence of Gigantic accidentally trashing San Francisco.  It only took me about 5 minutes to read through it.  I don’t feel that it has a lot of replay value.

Final verdict: I like Gigantic but hate Gigantic.  The premise is good enough that I’ll probably end up buying issue #2 at some point, but I’d stop buying it if the next issue is similar to this one.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “A brief review of Gigantic #1”

  1. C.R.on 24 May 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I feel almost exactly the same way about the comic. The general concept from the POV of the programmers is very interesting and the art by Nguyen and the colorist is superb. That scene with Gigantic leveling SF has got to be the longest, most drawn out cataclysm I’ve ever read. The writer must have told the penciler “Short explanatory scene to start; fill out the rest of the comic with thrashing the Bay Area.”

    BTW, issue 3 is out, with some improvement, great art but Gigantic is like you say, some sort of a Sad Sack.

  2. Ragged Boyon 24 May 2009 at 9:10 pm

    You recommended this as a suggestion for improving the appeal of my alien contest, B. Mac. It seems pretty interesting. I’m still stumped as to how I can make my contest more appealing.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

  3. Ragged Boyon 24 May 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Oh, I just got the image above. So that machine is building Earth?

  4. B. Macon 26 May 2009 at 8:38 am

    Yeah. On page 2, they make it clear that they’re making humans to populate a planet for a reality TV show. I really liked the introduction because 1) the premise is really cool and 2) it’s a very, very fast setup. In contrast, when the story hides the premise, it usually feels like the author isn’t very confident about his vision. Whatever else we can say about Gigantic, it definitely isn’t hiding the premise.

  5. B. Macon 26 May 2009 at 9:48 am

    CR, I feel the same way about the art. One of the artists on the project is freakishly talented. Gigantic and the aliens–even the ugly ones– just jump off the page. The cityscapes are also remarkably interesting.

    But the humans look pretty forgettable. It’s such a drastic difference in quality that I figure it has to be that they’re farming out the art for the humans to a different artist. (Even though it’s kind of unprofessional, I’m thinking about doing the same for my comic book. Agent Orange and demonic Jacob are exceedingly hard to draw, but I think I could trust the other characters with an artist that is a bit cheaper).

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