Review – The Biggest Bang #1 & #2 (of 4) (IDW Publishing)


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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: D.J. Kirkbride
Art: Vassilis Gogtzilas
Release Date: Issue #1 out now; Issue #2 released 28th June 2016

I like weird. Weird is good – weird is interesting and fun and engaging and all these good things. But only, and this is crucial, gadies and lentlemen, when it makes sense; when there’s method to the madness, rather than just being weird for the sake of it. Like the spoonerism that you may or may not have missed in this very paragraph – it’s proving a point, y’see?

The Biggest Bang is weird. Very weird. And… well, I can’t quite decide if it’s one or t’other of the above-described weirdnesses.

On the one hand, you have the delightfully appealing art – it’s some of the roughest linework that you’ll likely ever see, and yet, every single detail is distinct and clear, with Gogtzilas having a particular handle on cinematically staging his scenes. But it’s their surroundings that are the most fascinating part – gone completely is any semblance of panel structuring here, with negative and positive space bleeding together, giving the whole thing a dream-like quality that’ll almost put you into a trance as your eyes find their way through the pages. Artistically, it’s something of an achievement, given that some of the linework is literally scribbles.

But the flip-side of this is that, much like the dreams that it seems to be emulating, you find yourself in scenes where you have no idea quite how you got there. You go with it – and go with it you will, finding yourself at the end of the book rather faster than you might’ve expected, and at something of a loss as to precisely what’s going on. It’s sort of like one of the new wave of Terrance Malick films transposed onto sequential art, in that respect – a lot of artistically intriguing things going on, but very little actual substance when you coin-scratch the surface away.

Then there’s the fact that, at the end of it all, it’s just not quite clear what the comic wants to be. There’re moments when it comes off as a loving pastiche of all things superhero and sci-fi, others where it’s an almost mean-spirited parody (with almost too-stupid pompous narration), and some where it just seems to want to be a (for want of a better word) ‘proper’ superhero story. The blurry, nightmarish structuring of the two books is simultaneously the source of their curious beauty, as well as perhaps their downfall, given that it doesn’t exactly help figuring out which is the creators’ actual intentions.

There’s the possibility that it’ll all come together at the end, that the dream-state that it’s in right now is just that, and the story’ll wake up come issue 3. Perhaps I’m not reading enough into it. Or maybe too much. It’s certainly worth a gander for the visuals. But either way, when it’s not clear why you’re being weird, it’s hard to make yourself stand out from the people who are being weird for the sake of it. I can only recommend it… eh… experimentally, I guess?

Rating: 2/5.

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RSavThe Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24

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