Publisher: Heavy Metal
Writer: Eliot Rahal, Daniel Kibblesmith
Artist: Kendall Goode
Release Date: April 27th, 2016
The spiel for this one is “Welcome to the Universe. Every populated planet has a DOOR. Those who operate the DOORS are known as PORTERS—Interplanetary doormen who usher visitors from world to world. No one remembers who built the DOORS or why, The Porters guard the knowledge of how the DOORS are operate, sharing their secrets only with the apprentices who are to replace them. And a Porter never leaves their post.”
In issue one, Earth Porter Henry Clay Waters, who had just started his last day before retiring, had to leave his post. Someone was shooting at him. When we saw him at the end of the first issue, we saw Henry holding the apparently dead body of Consyst Detective Flower.
Issue two explores in a little more depth the background of Carlisle Moongale, a Kabillionaire who, for nefarious reasons, wants to discredit the Doormen — well, that or kill them all. It also gives us some obligatory police corruption and the final panel introduces us to the Joe, the Janitor, and ends with “Next Time in The Doorman: The Secret Origin of what the fuck is going on!” To be honest, that would be a kindness, because it’s all a bit “eh, what?” thus far.
The Doorman is written by Eliot Rahal (Paybacks) and Daniel Kibblesmith (Writes for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert). These guys are comedians of a fair standing, but to be honest, whilst the two issues so far have had a few comedic moments, the writers don’t seem to be going for the comedy jugular, and the series suffers for it. Maybe they are trying to tone the comedy down, but when the gun sound effects are the funniest thing in the comic there’s definitely something amiss.
Kendall Goode is not a name I am familiar with, and when I checked, he doesn’t have a huge body of work behind him. But, based on this showing, that could definitely change. The art is otherworldly at times with a hint of the mundane when required. Kendall inks and colours most of this book too, and the colours really pop from the page. Strong and vibrant throughout, perhaps it’s the artistic style that promises more comedy than is actually delivered.
Overall, while it’s an interesting concept with solid art, the storytelling is a little sub-par for the time being. For me, the writers have three options for the third issue; go comedy, go serious, or go home. Of those options, serious would appear to be off the table given the artistic style of the book, and the half-way house they seem to be trying for isn’t working very well.
The writer of this piece was: John Wallace
John Tweets from @jmwdaredevil