1 out of 5
I’ve had some rare instances (of which I’m aware) of creators reading my reviews of their work. While I’ve said some spurious things at various points, I generally try to remain aware of the person/s behind the work, and that my opinion should be focused on my perceived quality of said work. That being said, sometimes you get into a tizzy while writing these things, so I’d like to preface with a warning to the creators of Blue Hour that the below review is pretty harsh.
I realize these are my reviews so I could institute whatever rules I want, but I haven’t felt motivated to break from a one to five rating convention yet. …Blue Hour tempted me, though, to go to a zero.
I think I rarely even drop to onesies, but in those cases, I’d think something, at a bare minimum, was elicited – even if its anger or boredom – that makes me acknowledge I’m alive and affected by whichever piece of media, but I sincerely completely forgot this comic existed – apparently seconds after I closed the cover – until I saw it sitting stop my to-review pile. Even then, nothing really registered. I like to knock reviews out before I move on to another series, but my brain placed no sense of ownership on the task in this case. Like, the holy lords of media wouldn’t actually care if I just shifted this to the bin without an opinion.
Blue Hour concerns an attempt by a man named Everett to start a human colony on an alien planet, by way of negotiating peace with the local Maasym populace. To this extent he recruits an associate from his past, Wardell, with whom he’s had some bad blood in the intervening years. And the first issue, though somewhat stumbly paced – forced expositional dialogue or wayward attempts at sounding organic – and features stiff, oddly focused figurework from Chad Cicconi, which seems to stuff a lot of unnecessary faces into a panel, as though all the background characters are buddies the artist wanted to feature in his comic, still sets up a potentially interesting low-key exploration of human / alien politics.
But… no. To say much more would be to ruin the surprise that the story goes approximately nowhere, and seems to function like several writing exercises repackaged under a shared title. Motivations are explored for no clear reason, and yet personalities are written inconsistently with an odd habit of inserting pauses in the dialogue (e.g. a lot of “Uh….”s) that maybe are meant to capture uncertainty but just make the characters sound dumb. Back on the art side, Cicconi goes with an odd, jagged paneling method for the aliens which, again, has no discernible intentional purpose – though unintentionally it’s really distracting -and he also fails to do anything original with the aliens and alien culture.
The color is really good; some of Action Lab’s brightest production next to Dog of Wonder.
If you are looking for a story without a sliver of purpose, narrational structure, or sense of character, perhaps I can recommend this. …But I still probably wouldn’t.