Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Michael Gaydos
Release Date: 23rd April 2014
I’ve made no secret of my love for 24, even making it the focus of last Sunday’s Expanded Universe, so naturally I jumped at the chance to review the first issue of this brand new series from IDW. 24: Underground is set before the events of Fox’s upcoming ‘Live Another Day’ series, and promises to give us a better look at what Jack Bauer has been up to since the conclusion of season eight.
So far, so awesome, right? However, after excitedly reading this first instalment of the new ongoing series, I have to say, I found myself more than a little underwhelmed. There’s has always been a fine line when it comes to adapting beloved Television series into comic books, and it’s all too easy for creators – with the best of intentions – to stray into ‘fan fic’ territory. And sadly, that’s exactly what happens here. Ed Brisson is a more than capable writer, there’s no doubt about that, but he seems to struggle here in creating anything resembling an interesting ‘hook’. Yes, it’s Jack Bauer. Yes, there’s a potentially interesting story bubbling on the (distant) horizon. But in terms of the here and now, this is an almost unbearably dull first issue.
The artwork, provided by Michael Gaydos, is solid enough, but simply doesn’t seem to ‘fit’ for a title like this. His scratchy, sketchy style would definitely work for a lot of comics, but gives this particular book an uneven, confusing quality, particularly when it comes to the (limited) action sequences. The one saving grace amidst the roughly-shaded, twisty turny panels would have to be his depiction of Jack Bauer. Some of Gaydos’ faces can be a little generic, but there’s no mistaking Kieffer Sutherland’s scowling, grimacing and smiling (wait, what?) mug.
As much as I love the series, this is 24 by-the-numbers, and simply doesn’t feature anything remotely exciting or creative. Maybe things will pick up once the series gets moving, but after such an instantly forgettable beginning, I’m almost certain that I’m not going to be around to find out.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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