Right off the bat I would like to state I walked into this series with no idea of what to expect. Cough… Aside from the obvious but I really hoped for more. The cover art was intriguing enough aside from the mandatory 1st issue Collector’s items in extra large print across the top of the book, which always makes me cringe. In my experiences books that claim to be instant classics, always disappoint.
I also could not help but think of all the fun I could have reviewing a book entitled Sex. In fact it had me giggling like a high school boy. I haven’t decided if I am going to go down that road, yet…. Depends on the book. I haven’t read it yet; despite it being 3 months old I am going to give an instant reaction review. The cover did nothing to enlighten me on the subject matter of the book, a guy lunging around in his boxers surrounded by a suit of armor, a weight machine, box of cigars and an overall mess.
Chapter 1 The Summer of Hard: Simon Cooke returns to Saturn City
Right from the get go, the book feels more like a Dark Horse comic, than an Image one Stylistically speaking. After a 7-month hiatus Simon Cooke is returning home, a home he doesn’t seem to thrilled about coming back to. The memory of a death wash’s over him, along with the re-affirmation of a mysterious promise to the decease.
Arriving by Helicopter, Simon Cooke enters the city sprawl and lands on an office tower bearing his name. It looks as though Simon has returned from his “vacation” to lead his company into the future, despite the fact that he is a self professed flake he has apparently committed himself to running the company. Before any business gets taken care of, he asks if the gym was ready for him. (So is Simon a narcissistic playboy? Only time will tell I suppose)
During his Work out, Simon gets a visit from an old friend who also turns out to be his lawyer. Simon and Warren(his lawyer) go out for drinks, where it’s revealed that Simon had an alias of The Armored Saint but he’s retired now because of a promise he made. (ah ha revealed so soon into the book) Superheroes must be commonplace in this reality as Warren is talking openly about “Civilian lifestyles” and “Watchdogging” (the ahem legal term for Supers here? Let’s wait and find out.) As it turns out Saturn City, already a cesspool has degenerated further in the Armored Saint’s absence.
Cut scene to a night club where we are introduced to a Duo called the Alpha Brothers who are running an extortion racket protecting people from the evils of the city (and themselves) as well as a Crime boss only identified as “The Old Man” who confides in his body guards than he might have one more big score in him, and now that The Armored Prick ain’t around to stop him from asserting himself there is no time like the present.
Back with Simon he’s driving through the red light district, past strip joint’s, and prostitutes to an oddly unmarked building where he engages 2 ladies in a private show (let the gratuitous Sex scene begin). Sadly Simon seems unable to “enjoy” the show as he is busy being bombarded with memories of a woman in a hospital bed. (His Mentor perhaps?) Trying to talk him out of this Life choice of being a “ Watchdogger” of being a hero. So quickly we find out who the grave at the beginning of the book belonged to, as well as to whom the promise was made to. When it becomes evident to the girls that Simon is about as sexually excited as a frat boy locked in the geriatric ward of the hospital, the manager gets called in, and we learn the true reason behind his visit to the club, to meet up with an old colleague. The beautiful Shadow Lynx.
Pretty much as I suspected the title of the book is a gimmick. While I found that it was very gutsy of writer Joe Casey to cram this much back story into the first issue at the expense of action, I can’t help but feel that we are being asked to trust in the writer that this is leading somewhere big, rather than leading off with something big and having us salivate for more. I felt the hook was weak, the nudity unnecessary and sadly the main character less than inspiring. Although I did get the impression that Simon was struggling with far greater issues during this story.
For an opening book I’d rate it a 4/10.
The good news is that it really only can get better!
Stay true good reader and remember All will be well.