It’s time for another review!
This time around, it’s Nightwasp: The Man Who’s Hardly Ever Afraid #5. This book was written and edited by Keith Crook, layouts by Scott Shaw!, with pencils, inks, and colors done by the Short Fuse Media Group. The letters were done by Jessica Jimerson.
As always, we’re on the Prince song grading system: Adore means to buy it, Beautiful Strange means take it or leave it, and When Doves Cry means don’t buy it.
Let’s get to it!
Nighwasp seems to be a parody with an amalgam of characters. There seems to be some Batman and some Daredevil at the very least. I’m coming into it late, at the very end of a story arc, and I’m pretty happy about that. Parodies are supposed to be funny. Even if this isn’t designed to be a parody, this was supposed to be funny, if not amusing. It wasn’t.
Nightwasp is a licensed vigilante who’s got no powers of his own. Due to a technicality, criminals he’s put in jail are getting released, and he needs to see his therapist in order to get a piece of paper that will keep the crooks in jail—only his therapist is also his girlfriend, and she’s ignorant of his secret identity. She doesn’t give him the paper, not even after he reveals himself to her, and she’s kidnapped and taken to a farm. A trap has been set, but the Nighwasp manages to get through it and save the girl—only to lose her to her husband, and find out that his latest nemesis is actually his father.
Stupidity abounds. The writing isn’t funny, and is only barely amusing in a couple of spots.
To be honest, this was a bad week for books. I don’t want to review Marvel and DC books because they get enough attention (not to mention the fact that DC isn’t getting any more of my money), and I didn’t want to pay a large amount of money for what I knew were going to be bad books. I didn’t want to buy this one, but I was hoping that Scott Shaw! woulnd’t attach his name to a bad book.
I was wrong.
The writing isn’t good in the least. I’m not talking about plot holes or anything over-the-top or anything like that. I’m talking about the fact that the dialogue is just nonsensical at times. I don’t mean in a 1960s Batman way, either, with the Batshield that came out of nowhere, or the Bat Shark Repellant. That was strange but humorous. The writing here just…wasn’t.
The highlight of the entire book was the art. Scott Shaw! only did the layouts. The rest of the team is nameless, which is a shame. The Short Fuse Media Group, whoever that is, may have been suckered into a bad deal. Giving the name of a team is all well and good, except when they deserve individual credit. The only one who gets individual credit here is Shaw!, and while the others may have been happy to work over his layouts, I don’t know if that’s enough recompense for what turned out to be a bad book.
So the pencils, inks, and colors were all good. Again, the highlight of the book.
The letters by Jessica Jimerson are about as bad as the writing, which is saying something. She needs a lot of work, and only helps to bring down the entire project. The font size in the captions seem to be two different sizes, and sometimes there’s enough space in the caption box, sometimes there isn’t. The crossbar I’s are a mixed bag of terrible, because you can see in the captions where some words have them and some don’t—sometimes in the same caption. The word balloons also need some work, as do the tails. There’s a decent job of leading the eye with the word balloons, but this could have been helped in spots where the layout is a little confusing.
However, that’s where the editor comes in. Keith Crook is also the editor, and he shouldn’t be. Generally, the writers are too close to their project in order to be objective about what they’ve written. An outside eye is needed to make sure things make sense. There’s at least one spelling mistake here that causes the reader to jump out of the story, there are too many bolded words in an attempt to add excitement, and the inconsistency of the lettering is killer.
There just isn’t a whole lot of good here, but at least I only paid a dollar.
Final Verdict: When Doves Cry