Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dave Reviews: The (Weather)Man of the Hour

The Weatherman

Whoa, more not-games.

Here's the blurb for The Weatherman off Image's site:

"Nathan Bright had it all: an awesome girlfriend, a kickass dog, and a job as the number one weatherman on terraformed Mars. But when he's accused of carrying out the worst terrorist attack in human historty—an event that wiped out nearly the entire population of Earth—Nathan becomes the most wanted man alive and a target of a manhunt that spans the galaxy. But is Nathan truly responsible for such a horrific crime? And why can't he remember?"

The first issue of this comic is out, and I liked it. The method of storytelling isn't wildly groundbreaking—there's a slacker whose boss is screaming at him to get out of bed and get down to the news studio to do the weather, we learn about the world through blurbs of the other news being read while he's getting ready and heading to the studio, and then he comes out and crushes it, which explains why they put up with his bullshit. There's a girl, a date, guns, and a cliffhanger. From a broad-spectrum view of first-issue comic storytelling, this is all fairly standard.

And it's done pretty well. Nathan's lackadaisical approach to getting ready even after being awoken while the news show he works for is on the air gives a better sense of his character than a lot of comics pull off. He admits to the woman he's been calling endlessly that he doesn't get many second dates, but the overall story gives us an idea of why she does go on that second date before we can question what's wrong with her. The motivations of the bad guys are unclear, but they're definitely after Nathan, and that balance feels right.

It's a perfectly good comic. What throws me off is the way it's being sold. By reading the blurb above, you've learned more about the story than the first issue tells you. It's a little hard to fault Image for the decision; the series as a whole will go far beyond this blurb, and they need some kind of sales pitch. In fact, maybe you're being helped—you'll see the comic on a more basic level and be able to decide how much you like the way it's crafted, not the way it surprises you.

I'll put one idea out there as a way to measure how good the comic can potentially be: Nathan's 'girlfriend' is the woman he's gone on two dates with. At no point would you reasonably think of her as his girlfriend. When he calls her his girlfriend—I won't spoil when or why it happens—it felt, to me, like a gorgeous bit of timing, a way to show what he wants and how clueless he is all at one shot at a moment chosen for maximum impact.

If that type of thoughtful writing holds up, this series could be fantastic. If it was a lucky break, like they had a terrible idea in mind and it happened to look good, the whole thing might fall apart. I'm staying positive for now; at the very least, the first issue is worth a read.

Score: 99 red weather balloons

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