Monday, February 18, 2008

Lesser Known Joe Casey Comics: Wolverine: Black Rio

[Beginning my look at some of the lesser known comics by Joe Casey. The annuals, the fill-ins, the one-shots, and the forgotten runs. With each, I will answer one question: should the book remain forgotten? New posts Monday, Wednesday and Friday.]

First up in my look at lesser known comics by Joe Casey is 1998's Wolverine: Black Rio, a squarebound one-shot with art by Oscar Jimenez that has Logan in Rio for Carnaval. He gets in contact with an old friend, Antonio Vargas, now a detective investigating a series of murders that seem vampire-related--which, of course, means Wolverine versus vampires.

Not as much fun as you'd think.

This is a book very early in Casey's career and reads as such. There are some nice attempts to create witty banter and interesting dialogue, but they mostly fail. The overall thrust of the story is weak, as is the revelation that one of the vampires is Vargas's wife, long thought dead.

The main villain is an interesting character as he has some alien parasite attached to his stomach that speaks to him telepathically--making him seem crazy to all involved. But, even that isn't enough to warrant much interest.

There's also a baffling moment where Wolverine changes into an odd purplish-blue costume to take on the vampires that makes no real sense.

Jimenez's art is wildly inconsistent, ranging from fantastic to horribly rushed and sketchy. His depictions of Rio are great, though.

The book ends with a possibility for future stories and it is not surprising that no one has picked up the ball and ran with it.

Should this book remain forgotten? Oh hell yes. This is one of those books that only a weird Joe Casey obsessor like myself should pick up--and even I kind of feel like I've wasted my money. Normally, Casey manages to put in one or two really great moments, but this book is almost completely lacking.

On Wednesday, Heroes Reborn: Masters of Evil.