Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Waiting For The Trade - Desperadoes: A Moment's Sunlight

We didn't record a show this week since we just recorded an episode the previous Saturday at Time Tunnel Comics. I was kinda jonesing to talk about some comics so I decided to review a recently purchased trade paperback in a blog feature I'm calling "Waiting For The Trade".

Desperadoes: A Moment's Sunlight, was originally published by Image/Homage Comics in 1997-1998 as a 5-issue miniseries, written by novelist Jeff Mariotte and art by a pre-Planetary, pre-Astonishing X-Men John Cassaday. The story hearkens back to old pulp adventures that also successfully mixes the Old West genre with the horror genre.

Wrongly accused and on the run from the law in the late 1800's, four unlikely allies (a former Texas Ranger, an emancipated slave turned Buffalo Soldier, an ex-prostitute and a Pinkerton detective from Chicago) search for a serial killer who is ritualistically skinning half-breed children and slaughtering their mothers. The quartet desperately tries to find a way to stop the mysterious killer and also stop a potential war between white settlers and vicious Indian tribes.

I'll be honest, I bought this book for two reasons; it was half off the cover price and the John Cassaday art. I love Cassaday's work overall, but his earlier work I think I enjoy more for some reason (I urge you to read his and Ben Raab's Union Jack miniseries if you need further evidence). As far as Jeff Mariotte goes, I've heard of him, but never read any of his work. A majority of his work lies in novels, specifically for many licensed properties such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, CSI, Charmed, and Star Trek, just to name a few.

I thought A Moment's Sunlight was okay, the Western elements were well done; the look of the characters, the dialogue, and the more historical elements were all spot-on. In some parts, the story felt a little rushed, especially the end of the fourth issue which seemed anti-climatic considering the fifth issue was a one-shot story which had absolutely nothing to do with the previous four issues. Also, it didn't seem like they gave enough time to the horror aspect of the story because there were many characters that needed their stories told.

So, to close this one out, the Cassaday art is the real draw (no pun intended), the story is good and a fun romp, but it does fall short in some areas. It's worth picking it up if you can find it on the cheap.

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