Review: Snowfall #1

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In my experience, taking a “flier” on a new book you’ve attached no pre-conceived expectations to going in can pay off nicely. Right now, in fact, my pull list is populated with a number of series that I’m absolutely loving — from American Monster  to Hip-Hop Family Tree to Last Sons Of America to The Violent — that are the work of creators who I was either “down on” at one point and decided to give another chance to, or whose prior work (assuming there even was any) I was completely unfamiliar with.  I like the new. I like the unexpected. If I want the familiar, well — there’s always “The Big Two” for that.

Writer Joe Harris and artist Martin Morazzo are not, of course, new names — at least not for those of us who read their Image Comics series Great Pacific — nor are they creators who are in need of a second chance from yours truly, but still : when I first heard about their then-forthcoming, now-arrived new title Snowfall, I was in no way sure what to expect. It sounded — and judging by the few preview pages that were made available in recent months also looked and read — like something dramatically different to their prior work, and so my interest was piqued. Like I said, often the unfamiliar can yield surprisingly good results.

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Ya know what, though? Not always. And unfortunately that’s the case here.

None of the blame for why this extra-sized first issue (a nice value with 32 pages of story and art for $3.99 — full disclosure compels me to also inform you that I purchased my copy, no “review freebie” here) doesn’t work should rest on the shoulders of the artistic team, though. Morazzo and colorist-on-the-rise Kelly Fitzpatrick both go about their business splendidly, in fact. And the set-up that Harris presents us with involving a future Earth (the year being 2045, to be precise) that has seen some sort of “climate collapse” resulting in the desertification of much of the planet and the fall of the United States/subsequent rise of a new open corporate oligarchy called the “Cooperative States Of America” is an interesting enough bit of preliminary “world-building.” What he so clearly forgets to include, though, is any character-building, and so the search for the so-called “White Wizard” — some guy who has the power to make it snow and might be a terrorist, a freedom fighter, a mad scientist, you name it — falls well and truly flat.

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Don’t get me wrong — I feel bad that the various folks we’re introduced to here have to live in some sort of shitty dystopian society — but I don’t feel anything for any of them individually and frankly have a hard time discerning from events as presented who our main protagonists are even supposed to be, so completely one-note and un-involving are the lot of ’em.  Memo to Joe Harris : first issues are supposed to grab you with more than just an attractive price point, they’re supposed to make you interested enough in the proceedings to come back for more. Nothing on offer here manages to accomplish that most basic of tasks.

Obviously, Image has a reasonable amount of faith in these guys, and perhaps we should too — Great Pacific, after all, was something of a “slow burn” itself — but I’ve got (bad pun coming, you’ve been warned) cold feet already. A “slow burn” I can absolutely handle no problem — but this book feels like it’s in a deep freeze right out of the gate.

Story: Joe Harris Art: Martin Morazzo Color: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Story: 2 Art: 8 Overall: 5 Recommendation : Pass

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