Grifter and the Mask (#1 – 2) – Steven Seagle

1 out of 5

Hot Christ this is not good.  I have actually read enough of Steve Seagle’s work to say: he is not my breed of funny.  I could extend that to say that “he’s not funny,” but perhaps his barely-a-pun puns and if-I-shrug-and-wink-at-the-camera-while-saying-it-it-becomes-funny dialogue is humorous to some, so we’ll stick with qualifying this only from my perspective of ‘painfully lacking in laughs.’  Which doesn’t have to be an end-all, as Seagle has certainly scripted some notable books in his time, but it does mean that a series highlighting Mask-y hijinks probably shouldn’t go to that writer.  (I’ve been reading through some old issues of Marvel’s Crazy recently, so maybe I’m especially sensitive to writers who are not humor writers trying to write humor.)

Paul Newman – just a guy named as such, in a pointless throwaway gag – in the barest of plots, is at Vegas to protest a gun show.  As arted by Luciano Lima, Paul is spectacularly ripped in the most absurdly 90s WildStorm / Image fashion, and converses with his WildStorm / Image hot model wife in incredibly uninteresting settings and unrealized spaces (a good skill, that: making the Vegas backdrop drab) with an uninspired color job from Cary Porter.  And when Paul is force-fed the plot point of a luggage switch, his switched bag contains The Mask, and, sure, he puts it on in order to disguise himself for further gun protesting, and…  Yeah.  Grifter is in Vegas also, fight fight.  Fights which are also uninteresting and detached from a sense of space, and even Clem Robins’ letters feel half-assed when applied to Seagle’s weak jokes.

The end.