Review – Pilot Season: 39 Minutes


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Pilot Season: 39 Minutes COVA_stampedIt’s the first entry for Top Cow‘s Pilot Season 2010.  Written by William Harms and Jerry Lando, 39 Minutes is a story revolving around a team of Marines now robbing banks, but with a political bent.  This is Heat, but with a message.

Robbing a bank is easy — it’s the getaway that’s hard. The bank’s surrounded by police officers, alarms are blaring, customers and employees are screaming, and the streets are blocked off. So what’s the solution?

Kill everyone in town.

Created and written by William Harms (Impaler) and debuting up-and-coming artist Jerry Lando along with a cover by Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire), 39 Minutes turns the heist story on its head.

So, first off Pilot Season is a brilliant idea by Top Cow that produces a few first issues, allowing the public to vote on which one they enjoyed the most, then producing a mini-series for the winner.  So, did this comic make me want to vote for it?  The answer is a resounding hell yes.

The story is great, one hell of a set up, with some great art too.  There’s a very cool bank robbery story but what’s awesome is the series also has a subtler message.  The robbers are all veterans of the Iraq war who’ve been ashamed due to a run in with private contractors.  The series while it could simply be a cops and robbers story also explores duty, country and honor.  Just fantastic.

Now, we’re not going to tell you how to vote, because we need to see the other entries, but this is a hell of a start.  But, Top Cow, if this doesn’t win, can we please see the completed story at some point?  Pretty please?  I’ll be your best friend, pinky swear.

And for you folks debating if you should buy this?  The answer is yes, no thought needed, just do it.

Plot: Harms, weaves a fantastic story.  As we said above, this could simply be a cops and robbers story, but it’s not, it’s relevant.  There’s the focus on honor and duty as well as how soldiers adjust to when they return, very relevant topics.  Take these weighty subjects and add in an entertaining story and you have a winner.  Rating: 9.5

Art: The art by Lando is top notch.  It’s great to look at with some fantastic action scenes.  I’d love to see how he would of grown over a mini-series.  Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see it.  Rating: 8.25

Overall: The comic is great.  It’s entertaining, relevant, it should be a movie…. now can we get a mini-series out of it no matter what?  The only downside to this comic is we’re not guaranteed to see how it ends and where it goes.  But even so, it’s well worth the read.  Rating: 9.25

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 32 pages    Price: $3.99     Release: Wednesday 9/22/2010

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.