Cut Man #1 Review — It's Subtle and It Sneaks up on You

This new story (and it is an original idea, even if it has shades of a literary classic in its conceit) is subtle and sneaks up on you, and mixes speculative fiction with noir vibes. Hank Kelly is a down on his luck guy fighting to get his daughter back and overcome tough circumstances. He's hired a therapist but isn't exactly engaged with the process. He drinks hard, he finds a casual experience in a bar and is pretty basic in his struggle until he isn't. A very big surprise appears in his life which changes everything and that changes the whole tone of the story, especially when the bill for this miracle comes due. At that point, this becomes a whole other type of story, which is ultimately the deficit at work here. The deliberate script from Alexander Banks-Jongman spends a lot of time with the less exciting elements of Hank Kelly's life. The most significant part of the book is before the reader knows anything out of the ordinary is at play. This means either you're waiting for the twist you know is coming, which is too long to wait, or you're just taking it as a slice of life story, and the twist can throw you.

The cover of Cut Man #1 with the creative team Alexander Banks-Jongman, Robert Ahmad, and DC Hopkins and published by Danger Zone/Action Lab Entertainment.
The cover of Cut Man #1 with the creative team Alexander Banks-Jongman, Robert Ahmad, and DC Hopkins and published by Danger Zone/Action Lab Entertainment.

 

Likewise, artist Robert Ahmad made a creative decision to color almost every panel in a blue hewn monotone (save flashbacks, which are a yellow monotone), which gives the whole thing its noirish feel but also has a lulling effect. Ahmad's style is likewise a more gritty version of Mike Kunkel, which is a little Sunday comics-ish for the maturity of the subject matter (and it's not done ironically like Spencer and Locke). Also, two female characters look very similar — like Baroness and Chameleon similar — and that causes some dissonance. Overall, this is work that's interesting but takes too long to get warmed up. Even in a thin week worth of books, that's a bit too much to ask for the cost of admission. RATING: MEH.

CUT-MAN #1 (Digital-First)
Writer(s): Alexander Banks-Jongman
Artist Name(s): Robert Ahmad
Cover Artist(s): Robert Ahmad
Hank Kelly cannot die. With this revelation, his life is thrown into a world of fame and fortune. But can fame and fortune repair his broken family? Meanwhile, detective Rosalind Lovejoy makes a fateful discovery: Kelly's immortality has a dark cost.

About Hannibal Tabu

Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.

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