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Review: Uncanny #4

Whew!

I am breathless after reading Andy Diggle’s latest issue of Uncanny! After three issues of build-up, #4 grabs hold of you like the beginning of a good Bond film and does not let go. For those who are constantly complaining that writers do not get to the action fast enough in comic books anymore, no worries here. Uncanny #4 is high-octane excitement that does not stop.

We find Weaver and Maggie, both “actives” who have unexplained superpowers, in the heat of an operation trying to take a briefcase from their target, Dr. Felix de Santos, who has allegedly discovered the origins of “active” powers and plans to use them for naughty reasons. At least that is the explanation Weaver and Maggie’s mysterious employer has given them.

Speaking of whom, we find out an interesting bit of information about the man behind the sunglasses this issue as well: he himself is an “active” and seems to be possessed of a Professor X-type mental power. Why are Weaver and Maggie working under free will? We will have to wait to find out.

Car chases are extremely hard to do in comic books; not the drive or adrenaline of the spy movies. But Diggle not only manages to pull off one great action sequence after another here, with all the accompanying chaos ensuing, but we have helicopters exploding to boot. The lead vehicle of destruction? A garbage truck.

Aaron Campbell carries the ball heavily on this one, giving us realistic, gritty high views of NYC while following up on each of Diggle’s challenges in the chase, rendering with his art some nerve-wrenching moments on the highway and the most monstrous garbage truck in comic book history. Carrying action on for an extended amount of time with little scene change is not easy, I would imagine, and besides his gorgeous and humanistic facial and body expressions Campbell gets great kudos for the seamless action scenes in this mag.

If you are not reading Uncanny, you have perhaps missed one of the best heist stories in comics today. Pick it up and get on board. This one moves fast!

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Review: Uncanny #2

Writer Andy Diggle continues to weave a web of noir mystery around the man known only as Weaver, whose unique talent of taking other characters’ memories and abilities has gotten him exactly nowhere.
 
Except maybe stranded in Singapore with a target on his back.
 
Weaver, under the assumption that he is the only one with “special” abilities in the world, has been gambling and thieving his way across Europe and Asia, apparently coming to rest and growing stale in Singapore for the better part of a year.
 
Now on the run from the gambler Lee and the object of curiosity for a mysterious woman named Maggie, Weaver is dodging bullets and getting his final sources killed in an effort to make it back to the States … or at least away from Lee’s men, half of whom are wearing badges.
 
Artist Aaron Campbell does a great job with his clean lines for carrying the action and also the facial expressions. When one of Weaver’s cronies is slowly dying as he is in the process of taking information from him and Weaver experiences this, the reader feels sadness and wonders if Weaver had ever felt that before. The expression of his face is priceless.
 
We discover that Weaver does have a conscience as he returns to get a shot Maggie before making an escape, Miami Vice-like, on a boat, out of a secret exit with Lee’s men not knowing the difference.
 
We also discover Maggie’s secret this issue (sorta), one that will send Weavers world topsy-turvy.
 
I hope lovers of crime and adventure comics will pick this up and read it. It is a keeper. I’ll be back next issue!
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Review: Uncanny #1 (Diggle and Campbell)

There are a lot of comics with the adjective “uncanny” in their titles these days. This new offering from Dynamite really is!

The protagonist in Uncanny #1 – I don’t really know if you’d call Weaver a “hero” — is a cussing, hard-assed man in a suit whom you would guess to be a spy. As far as I know, he is not.

What he is is a habitual gambler who has been making his way around the casinos of Singapore for a year. He seems to be slick but rather penniless, so he either goes for high stakes or doesn’t employ his uncanny ability well.

That ability is the superhuman talent to, by making skin contact, absorb information and/or certain talents from others. Think Rogue in a man-suit. He can only hang on to this information/talent for so long and then it’s gone.

Everything seems to be working well for a long while until along comes a gambler who is not as Weaver read him. That leads to chaos, a departure from Singapore (or at least he thinks that) and a meeting with a mad woman on a motorcycle named Maggie who, of course, offers Weaver a job right away.

Someone knows his uncanny talents, but Weaver doesn’t know who.

Writer Andy Diggle has put together a fine noir-feeling book with great mystery appeal, and it will be very interesting to see where this might lead.

Aaron Campbell’s art is good, stable and keeps your attention, carrying the action well, especially with small things like facial expressions.

Dynamite’s got itself a winner here. I will be back for more next issue!

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