Wildstorm meets DC as Grifter crashes into the relaunched universe. Does Grifter have the goods or is it all an elaborate con?
Story: Nathan Edmonson
Inker: Jason Gorder
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Katie Kubert
Editor: Bobbie Chase
Cover: CAFU & Bit
Publisher: DC Comics
Previously, on Grifter: In the old DCU, Grifter didn’t exist. He was brought over from Wildstorm, where he was a member of the WildC.A.T.s, fighting Daemonites and such… I think he tried to sell batteries once.
“DAMNED GRIFTER CONNED ME!”
Well, I feel like I just got grifted. Grifter #1 only works if you view it as some sort of meta-commentary about suckering comic book readers into parting with their hard earned two dollars and ninety-nine cents. Otherwise, it’s a complete mess.
In the opening pages, while enjoying some rather spacious air travel accommodations, Cole Cash hears some voices, stabs some chick in the eye, bluffs the air crew into thinking a tiny wine bottle is a bomb, and jumps out into the water. Apparently, while running the old briefcase-full-of-cash-switcheroo on some generic sleazebag, Cash Cole had the misfortune of getting shanghaied by aliens or demons, but he escaped and now he’s missing time and hearing voices and everyone hates him. Oh yeah, and the US Army wants his brother to kill him because we need warmed-over action movie clichés that strain credulity
Cole as a protagonist is woefully uninteresting, and in fact, contradictory. In one panel, he’s wringing his hands over beating someone who forcefully abducted him, yet has no problem stabbing someone in the eyeball and then threatening a plane full of civilian passengers. We learn he’s a conman who used to work for Delta Force, but absolutely nothing of substance or interest to hang a solo title on. The great reveal at the end is that he stole a mask from a costume shop that happens to look exactly like Grifter’s classic face covering and that he’s going to… run away. Yay.
NOT FOR ME
I’ve seen some good words offered to CAFU’s art but man, I did not like the art in this issue. The perspective and spacing just seemed wrong to me. The coloring is well done, and CAFU puts a lot of detail into his backgrounds, which I appreciate. He also plays with the panels and space to lend a nice feeling of motion to the action. But CAFU fails to provide a realistic feel to the people on the page, and the alien design is far too derivative to be threatening. I can see why CAFU appeals to some, but the art rubbed me the wrong way.
AM I BEING TOO HARSH?
Grifter #1 confused and frustrated me, but that’s just one man’s opinion. There’s a bit of action, and if you like CAFU, you’ll enjoy the book more than I did. It seems Nathan Edmonson is going for a They Live meets Total Recall action vibe, which is a noble pursuit, but the opening salvo was not effective. Your mileage may vary, but my verdict is approach this book with caution. One star.