It’s time for another review!
This week, it’s 20MM, a book that was written and edited by John Park, with pencils and colors by Hanz Jay De Castro, and lettered by De Castro and Matt Verratti.
As always, this is rated on the Prince song system: Adore means buy it, Beautiful Strange means take it or leave it, and When Doves Cry means don’t buy it.
This book is being sold on comiXology Submit as Vol 1, and it has 200 pages in it. Not a bad value for a buck, right?
The story is simple: nanotechnology has reached the masses, and anyone with a nano-printer can build almost anything—and it turns regular humans into super-strong, bullet-proof soldiers.
That’s the high concept.
After the start, which begins to take us through the history of nanotechnology, we get a bank robbery and cop shooting at a location vocalized by a police dispatcher, but drawn by De Castro as a different place entirely. The writing really goes downhill quickly from there.
We’re taken through an interminable history/world view of what Park has created. There is literally a 50-page info-dump that’s boring as all hell. Park uses newscasters to give reams and reams of information that doesn’t contribute to the story, except to balloon the page count. These reporters then hand-off to each other in a very jarring way: even though they’re reporting from on-location in different parts of the world, they’re completing each other’s reports. One reporter goes from one country to another, seemingly in only a few short minutes, to include a change of clothing.
It’s terrible, terrible storytelling. Suffice it to say, Park should not edit himself. He failed to tell the story concisely, and he missed a few things in the art.
De Castro is a decent artist. Nowhere near great, but he’s decent. In taking up all the art chores, you can also see that the vehicles and objects are better than the actually drawn figures. Some locations are obviously computer-generated, with the people drawn in. The objects seem perfect, and the people are decidedly less so. But he tries, and there’s something to be said for effort.
The coloring, though, is terrible. The light sources aren’t consistent, and the objects look a lot more “real” than the characters. That’s never good.
Then there’s the lettering. It needs a lot of work. Crossbar I’s where there shouldn’t be, quotation marks that closed but never opened, or just their blatant incorrect use… Some things a competent letterer should have fixed, but there are others that the editor should have caught.
This book, even at a buck, is too much to pay for. Sure, you get your money’s worth, but it isn’t entertaining.
Final Verdict: When Dove’s Cry