Pilot Season: 39 Minutes Comic Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Story 4.0
Art 4.0
Value 5.0
Total 4.5
Publisher: Top Cow Studios
Release Date: 22/9/2010 (US)
Reviewer: Troy Mayes

4.5


Pilot Season: 39 Minutes

39 Minutes marks the return of Top Cow’s Pilot Season program for another year. The initiative sees the first issue of 5 comics released within two months. After the fifth and final comic is released fans are able to vote for their favorite story and at the end of voting the book with the most votes will receive a full series. It’s a great program that’s thrown up some terrific stories, sadly 39 Minutes is not one of them. 

A group of highly efficient bank robbers target a bank in small town USA. They kill any and everyone that gets in their way. They are brutal, cold killers who also happen to be ex-military. A shadowy Government contractor firm blackmails a guy who looks like Jesus into catching the group, who just so happen to be his former soldiers.  

The thing with 39 Minutes is, mostly, it’s an idea that’s been done so many times before on film that nothing really shocked you in the comic. I saw elements of Swordfish, Lethal Weapon and even The Rock to name a few. The senseless violence of the robbers also makes it hard to feel for them and the reasons why they are robbing these banks. If they were more reluctant killers/criminals then maybe you could understand the whole ‘forgotten by their country and reduced to this’ angle but they almost seem to revel in the chaos of it all. There was also no real attempt to differentiate the robbers so they were just faceless villains. If we got to know the robbers then maybe we’d care about them and understand the intense violence. Also bringing in the Jesus guy who has no other choice but to help because dun dun dun they were his men has also been done before and (SPOILER ALERT) by showing you who’s pulling his strings at the end the book has spoiled a potential twist for later on. The whole comic had this air of being old and stale with no fresh, new ideas on offer. Sure it has a socially relevant setting, the Iraq War, a brutal yet efficient way of taking out a bank and a bit of a conspiracy theory, but there needs to be more to it than that especially within the Pilot Season program where a strong first issue decides whether the series lives or dies. Nothing grabbed my attention and made me want to see where the book would go in the future.  

The artwork did not help the book either. Cars looked blocky and lacked sleek lines, a lot of panels lacked definition and detail even when marginal zooming out had taken place, faces were often unnaturally contorted with strange expressions and seriously what was up with John Clayton looking like Jesus with that ridiculous hair? It was like it had a life of its own sometimes. The violence was handled pretty well but I found the scene where the local Sheriff tries to play the hero hard to follow and had to look over it a few times to work out the general flow of the proceedings. About the only thing that stood out about the artwork was the bad-ass front cover. It certainly catches the eye and gives you a fair idea of what the comic is about.   

I love Top Cow’s Pilot Season program. It’s a great way to see what books fans want to see made. Sadly, I don’t think 39 Minutes is going to be one of them. The issue just doesn’t capture the reader’s attention in any way. Now the next Pilot Season book Asset, which 39 Minutes contains a preview of that has caught my attention.   






 
 



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