American Legends 1

These are the stories of the great
frontiersmen who explored the magical and savage frontier before becoming
mythical heroes in American folklore. These are the tall-tales of our youth,
known and loved by all. These are the American Legends
Bill Schwartz
Zachary Schwartz
Studio HIVE
Top Cow Productions/Image
There’s a problem in comics at the moment
that I think those inside the industry are a little unaware of – I call it
‘continuity blindness’. It’s when comics, in particular those that have been
running for 40 odd years or so like those from Marvel or DC, are so wrapped up
in their own drama they don’t think to explain any of it to newcomers. Its even
worse when these particular blindspots are ethnocentric in nature.
I bring this up only because wading into American
Legends #1
feels like just such a case – I’m sure to American readers, the
many characters introduced are people they were brought up with and as such
will have no problem just picking up an rolling with it. But as it is, outside
of Davey Crockett I was pretty clueless.
Which is a shame, because knowing these
characters already is essential, as it plays into their characterisations and
motivations- very little exposition is given in the comic itself other than the
basics i.e. When Sally Ann Thunder gets the undead unleashed upon her by
Sacagawea, she isn’t much of a fan.
This shorthand method cuts through the
entire comic. Panels transition from night to day in location to location
without so much as an explanation as to where the new place is meant to be. The
manner is overall a bit slapdash and doesn’t really ender me to the comic.
Nor does the art. Its all a little fuzzy,
with the lettering clearly added digitally afterwards. It’s so distracting
because sometimes the lettering overlays the art in ways it that doesn’t look
like it was intended to. I even spotted a few panels where the lettering
partially obscured a key section of the artwork!
All in all, I think perhaps American reader
would get more of a kick out of this. But even from where I’m standing, there’s
not too much to recommend I’m afraid. Hopefully this is just the opening issue
and we’ll be on firmer ground next issue.
Image courtesy of Top Cow.
You can buy American Legends #1 from Comixology
or your local comics retailer.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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