Revolution: Action Man (one-shot) – John Barber

2 out of 5

Another Revolution mess.  I’ve been so frustrated by this necessitated crossover nonsense.  It put a halt on the Action Man title, which I was enjoying, and hijacked the Transformers ongoing, which I was interested in, and vomited up the boring Optimus Prime and cluttered Revolutionaries in its wake, all for the sake of “shared universe” nonsense.  Great.  Woohoo.  …And you lost a reader.

While the main Revolution series admittedly hasn’t been bad, like most crossovers, it just so clearly doesn’t matter that I can’t well up much excitement for it.  Some entertainment has sprung off, but then you’re also going to get mess like this Action Man one-shot, which is essentially a misguided attempt at shoving Ian Noble / AM into this big robots and blaster business, where he really doesn’t belong, hence him not appearing all that much in a title bearing his name.  It’s no surprise that this issue has a “continued in Revolutionaries” tagline – a team book which includes Action Man – as the feeling is much the same: a lot of widescreen action-adventure with G.I. Joe antics and Transformers clomping around, and then you have to figure out how a British spy sensibly fits in.  So he just pops up here and there, says some British things, and then the plot keeps going.

It’s especially apparent here, with the plot scattered between like 18 different locations and 100 characters – the first two pages are all clipped shots of people in various places sort of having one conversation, but it feels like it’s a highlight show – such that you’re sort of wondering what the focus of the book is and then suddenly it ends.  When it manages to focus on Noble helping Kup breakout from Miles Mayhem’s capture (hey, it actually does tie-in to something in Revolution!), some of the Action Man seat-of-the-pants charm is there, and Kup’s definitely a good wingman banter, but again, it’s stretched across too many slices of M.A.S.K. and Joe chatter to maintain any momentum.

The art team of Paolo Villanelli and John-Paul Bove colors are ported from the AM book.  Unfortunately, the art looks rather rushed at points, suggested that the cluttered cast / pacing may have taken a toll.

Action Man… please come back to us in an ongoing.