Which, let me be clear, is no “bad” thing any more than it’s a “good” thing. Russ is playing the proverbial “long game” here, and depending on how all of that shakes out, this is either a vital next step in his narrative, or an overly-long “stop gap” measure between actual occurrences. As somebody who still keeps a metaphorical toe dipped in the mostly-fetid waters of the comics mainstream myself, I’m used to getting hustled by the naked cash-grab that is “decompressed” storytelling, but when we’re talking about a singular cartoonist with a singular style who tells stories in a singular way, well — the jury’s gotta remain out until we have a better, firmer grasp on precisely what a “Chris Russ comic” is.
So, yeah, let’s talk about the art — I dig Russ’ clean lines, inventive character designs, richly vibrant hues, and inventive-but-traditional page layouts. He still has a few things to learn about the economics of sequential pacing — certain key moments are given short shrift while others of less import are given entire pages, for instance — but on the whole, he knows how to put together a nice-looking mini. He’s got a legit autuer sensibility, but within his own singular look, feel, and approach there remain some kinks to be worked out before I’m ready to say he’s 100% successful at what he’s doing. They key thing is, though, that he’s earned the right to maintain my interest.
If, then, you’re deciding whether or not to buy this comic, I’d say go for it, with the understanding that any payoff it offers is delayed for the time being. But isn’t that the case for serialized fiction in any number of media?
Also, this review — and all others around these parts — is “brought to you” by my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the worlds of comics, films, television, literature, and politics for as little as a dollar a month. Subscribing is the best way to support my continuing work, so I’d be very pleased if you’d take a moment to give it a look by directing your kind attention to https://www.patreon.com/fourcolorapocalypse