Friday, December 28, 2012

I Reads You Review: Happy! #1

HAPPY! #1 (OF 4)

WRITER: Grant Morrison
ARTIST: Darick Robertson
COLORS: Richard P. Clark
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
28pp, Color, $2.99 U.S.

Happy! is a four-issue comic book miniseries written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Darick Robertson. The series focuses on Nicholas “Nick” Sax, apparently once the best detective in his police department. At some point, he became just another intoxicated cop and sometime after that, he became a hitman.

As Happy! #1 opens, we learn from two of the Fratelli Brothers that Nick is a total evil bastard. The brothers are Nick’s target, but before the last Fratelli scion dies, he imparts a secret about the Fratelli family fortune upon Nick. Now, Nick is the target of many different interests that want this secret. Then, there’s Happy the Horse...

I’ve been a fan of Grant Morrison’s comic books since his Animal Man, and I think that he is one of the great modern comic book writers. That is not to say that he has not written mediocre or even bad work. I also still don’t understand why people think of All-Star Superman as the “work of a generation” or “era-defining work.” I found his recent Batman comics either spectacular or spectacularly dull. However, I go full fanboy for such Morrison classics as Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles, and New X-Men (well, at least the early issues).

I’m not in full fanboy mode for Happy!. If you combined some of Ed Brubaker’s generic, paint-by-numbers crime comics with some of the tropes Mark Millar has vomited up for his Millarworld line and combined them, you’d come close to making a Happy!. I’m glad that I did not pay for this comic book, because if I had, I wouldn’t be glad.

Darick Robertson’s art is good. He can draw and actually draw comic books, but even his draftsmanship is sullied by this dull retread of dull retreads. Here and there, I found something to pique my interest for a moment or two. If I get more free copies of Happy!, I’ll keep reading and reviewing


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


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