Sunday, May 10, 2009

Free Comic Book Day 2009, part 3: Resurrection

Resurrection #0, Oni Press
Marc Guggenheim & Jim Massey (w), Justin Greenwood & Robbi Rodriguez (a), Dan Jackson & Dave McCaig (c), Douglas E. Sherwood (l)

SIGNIFICANCE: According to Editor-in-Chief James Lucas Jones' inside back cover essay, Resurrection #0 bridges the gap between series' first seven-issue volume and a new incarnation premiering next month. So, this issue is a resurrection in a very literal sense of the term, bringing back a title old readers might recognize yet establishing a fresh start for new readers like me. A wise use of Free Comic Book Day on Oni's part -- and including the reprinted Tek Jansen back-up story, capitalizing on the mainstream popularity of Stephen Colbert, isn't a bad idea, either.

STORY: In Resurrection #0, Dwight Miller is a self-professed alien abductee that survives a global, ten year long extraterrestrial invasion to document the entire experience from his unique perspective and seek out his estranged wife in a barren New York. In the Big Apple, Dwight meets Wendy, a self-taught computer tech that has maintained monthly communications with the only other person on-line, Carlo in Italy. Unfortunately, Carlo has been befriended by the mysterious Paul Cole, who somehow played a part in Dwight's perspective of events, and when Cole captures Dwight in New York, the mystery man discovers that Dwight's journal is missing. His truth being out there is undoubtedly the catalyst that launches the new Resurrection series, and surprisingly it elicits intrigue about an extraterrestrial invasion without actually showing any aliens.

Fortunately, the Tek Jansen back-up story makes up for that in spades, as the Alpha Squad 7 agent is sent undercover to convert a tyrannical alien faction to the ways of equal party treatment, with hilariously violent results.

ART: Artist Justin Greenwood at his best elicits shades of Eduardo Rizzo, and at his worst a rushed Rick Leonardi -- neither of which is a bad thing, but the comparisons never congealed into a truly memorable, unique visual experience. Robbi Rodriguez, however, captures the cocky caricature of Stephen Colbert in an exaggerated interstellar environment with ease, transcending the story's satirical roots to tell a real sci-fi adventure with its own merit.

PACKAGE: As I eluded, the Resurrection/Tek Jansen combination is an excellent way to attract old and new readers alike, with ample ads for other successful Oni projects like Maintenance and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and that behind-the-curtains editorial by Jones. Considering that these comics were free, Jones' appreciation for the editorial and marketing talent that make the production of comics possible beyond the writing and artistic process of the printed page is an interesting insight for anyone interested in the medium as an industry. His essay could be akin to Dwight's lost chronicle, documenting the way things really happen -- and it's up to us to look beyond the story we're given, to give the concept of comics a second look.

DO I WANT MORE? If Resurrection revives the apocalyptic intrigue it promises to deliver, I'm in! An alien invasion is fun escapism compared to the swine flu scare of real life.

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