FEATURES : COLUMNS : REVIEWS : NEWS : FILM & TV : FORUMS : UGO

ABOUT




New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.
 








Comic Review:
Sleeper #3
By Matt Martin

03.27.03


DC Comics/Wildstorm – Ed Brubaker (w); Sean Phillips (a)

See, this is what a “Mature Readers” line is supposed to look like.

There were a lot of jokes (many of them mine and I think all were fairly accurate) around my store that Marvel’s attempt, in the Max imprint, at creating a Mature Readers line simply amounted to saying “fuck” a lot and showing occasional nudity. So Wildstorm’s proposed “Eye of the Storm” line was met with nothing short of raw skepticism on my part. Granted, Wildstorm is the company that produced The Authority and Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch, but for every one of those, it seemed that there were a hundred issues of mediocre spandex-related books penciled by a wide range of poor man’s Jim Lees.

So I must say, I’m pleased to see that Sleeper has amounted to something both substantial and entertaining, as I had high hopes for it, based solely on its creative team (Ed Brubaker was one of the first creators, after Brian Azzarello, that I followed when I began following creators several years ago).

At the same time, I was a bit nervous about the book, as its central plot does not seem to lend itself well to continued survival. Put a different way, its high concept seems more suited to a limited series than an ongoing.

Holden, known to his cohorts as the Conductor, is a deep-cover agent for John Lynch (the eternal shadowy covert ops leader in nearly every Wildstorm-related book), infiltrating the criminal organization of a man called Tao. However, when Lynch is attacked and slips into a coma, no one else knows of Holden’s dilemma. Namely, how can he safely extract himself from the syndicate when the time to do so arrives?

It’s a deceptively elegant plot structure though, as Brubaker has managed, in his first three issues to effectively cover no new ground but still entertain the hell out of his readers: it’s all been backstory so far. It’s also all been exceptionally good.


Article continued below advertisement


This issue is no exception to the rule that the previous two have established, as it does deal extensively with elements that happen in the story’s past. However, it’s clear that Brubaker is laying the groundwork slowly and methodically (establishing a global conspiracy of 100 Bullets-esque proportions and working Holden into it) and I would much prefer that to having it thrown together slapdash and having major plot movement sooner.

As well, Brubaker uses the looser editorial grip that a mature readers stamp allows him, but it never seems excessive, never gratuitously violent or sexual. Rather, the gritty elements of the story seem to fit naturally, as this is a story about a super-powered criminal syndicate; organized crime in our world is brutal enough, so adding metahuman powers should raise the bar more than a little.

In the end, possibly the most revealing endorsement that can be made of Sleeper is that it never relies on the events of the mini-series that it spun out of, last year’s Point Blank, keeping the book new reader-friendly. Instead, having read Point Blank certainly adds to something to the story, as I’m sure a more solid familiarity with the Wildstorm universe would (something that I do not possess), but lacking either of them will in no way detract from your enjoyment of the book. And when you factor in the fact that Brubaker himself has offered a money-back guarantee on his work, you almost can’t afford not to read it.

Final Score: 4.5/5

 

 
E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend

 

 



 
Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.


CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent