Comic Book Review: Wetworks #1

Wetworks #1 is the first issue of this new push by Wildstorm to resurrect its universe and all of its characters. DC is placing plenty of talent on all of these Wildstorm titles in an effort to make these new comics a big success. I collected Wetworks back when it came out in 1992. I collected it for probably 2 years and then dropped it along with most of everything that Image was putting out. Wetworks was your typical Image comic book. It boasted “hot” art by a “hot” artist and delivered poor writing and generic characters. Overall, it was less than impressive.

Will this new version of Wetworks be different from the original version? Will the overall quality be higher? Will the writing be stronger? Carey is the writer and he has yet to ever really make me think he is anything more than an average writer. I will admit that I have my doubts about Wetworks #1, but I will approach it with an open mind and hope that it is an enjoyable read. Let’s do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Mike Carey
Penciler: Whilce Portacio
Inker: Trevor Scott

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts at an Air Force base in Arizona. We see a team of Air Force technicians conducting tests on a laser weapon. Suddenly some creatures brutally slaughter all of the technicians.

We shift to a bed room scene where a bug time business man is about to get in on with some S-E-X with a fine looking chica. The chica is really a vampire and she kills the business man. She then slips out of the window and hops into her car. Suddenly, Dane pops out from the back seat. Dane refers to the woman as “Red.” Dane offers her a chance to work on his new Wetworks team. That Red has been making money as a corporate spy eliminating the competition for various corporations. Dane says she use to be better than that. Dane then offers Red a three month supply of some drug that she appears to be addicted to.

We cut to some facility in upstate New York. Some mystical man named Ab-Death is meeting with Dr. Stiles to discuss trying to resuscitate Mother One. Ab-Death claims that Mother One’s soul has not left this plane yet.

We shift back to the Air Force base in Arizona. We see Dr. Stiles’ medical team attempting to revive Mother One. Dane enters with Red alongside of him. Buller, the officer who commands this Air Force base has a discussion with Dane. Buller feels that Dane doesn’t respect his authority. Dane counters that Buller agrees to revive Mother One, synthesize the pills for Red and allow Dane to pick his own team. And that Dane doesn’t care for Buller’s authority or his type of discipline.

We cut to the briefing that Buller is having with Dane and the other members. Buller tells the team that three days ago this base was attacked by some invisible creatures. They slaughtered some guards and a team of techs. They stole a prototype weapon called the Blood Box. An extinction level armament. It is clear that the attackers were rogue Vampires. The Vampire King has singed a truce with humans so these rogue Vampires are traitors to the Vampire King. Red comments that everyone in the Vampire Nation would gladly go against the truce and kill all humans. Suddenly, the base alarms go off. They are under attack.

Red tells Dane that she has no desire to help them. That she will engage in this one fight and then she is leaving and she will walk through Dane if she has to. We see Red engage the intruder. She guts the intruder with a knife. The intruder gets up unhurt. He then transforms into a werewolf and says “Steel blade. Not silver.” The werewolf then takes down Red and tells her she has the right to be silent or he will rip out her throat. The werewolf flashes his police detective badge for Muertos Angeles.

Comments
The Good: Wetworks #1 didn’t do much for me. However, the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity must be followed. I liked Portacio’s artwork. He isn’t my favorite artist, but he has a nice dynamic style that is good for an action heavy comic book. It has been forever since I have seen Portacio’s work. I’m glad that he is back in the game and turning out a monthly comic book.

The Bad: I found the writing to be mediocre at best. The story was rather pedestrian. Mike Carey didn’t do much to impress me. This story wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t anything great.

The pacing felt off. The comic jumped around clumsily from scene to scene with not much flow at all. The story felt unfocused and failed to lay much of a sound foundation for future issues. The story read a bit sloppy and lacked a cohesive direction or purpose. I have a feeling that the story in Wetworks is going to wander and ramble a bit too much. Technically, this was a poorly constructed, plotted and scripted issue.

None of the plotlines interested me at all. I will admit up front that I have a very low interest in a comic book that centers on Vampires and Werewolves. That just isn’t a genre that has ever interested me that much. So, I can’t say that any plotline involving the Vampire Nation gets my interest. Nor does a Werewolf police detective. And, the plotline involving the missing government weapon isn’t that compelling.

I thought the dialogue was weak. It felt very stiff and was rather cheesy at points. The dialogue read as if Carey had just attended a class entitled “Tough Talking 101” taught by Professor Daniel Way. It was just too much. Not every single character can be a “tough talker.” All of the characters sounded like each other. If you had someone read you this story you would never be able to identify a character by their dialogue.

The story also lacked any actual character development. We were treated with a collection of stereotypes and caricatures rather than characters. The characters were all shallow and one dimensional. Absolutely none of the characters grabbed my interest. They were flat and dull and made the story a boring read.

If this comic book was a TV show, then it would definitely be one of those cheesy Sci Fi action shows. Wetworks #1 lacked depth. I zipped through this issue and was left with a very flat feeling. It didn’t elicit a strong negative or positive reaction from me. And that was the problem. It elicited absolutely no reaction from me. Wetworks #1 is the comic book equivalent of a rice cake. It doesn’t taste bad or great because it has no taste at all.

Overall: Wetworks #1 was pretty much like all the Image comics I remembered from the early 1990’s. All artwork and no story. Wetworks #1 was a nice looking issue, but that is about it. The characters are just like you’re the old early 1990’s Image characters. Undeveloped and shallow characters who all engage in massive amounts of tough talk. The storyline itself failed to intrigue me. With limited funds and an all ready crowded pull list, the Revolution is going to pass on Wetworks.

I will admit that I am probably not the target audience since I am not a huge fan of horror genre comic books. If you dig vampires and werewolves and like plenty of mindless action then I definitely recommend you check out Wetworks. You will probably enjoy it.