Last Week’s Comics 9/21/2011

Pigs #1

(Image – writers: Nate Cosby & Ben McCool; art: Breno Tamura)

Pigs is described as the story of a second-generation KGB Cuban sleeper cell, activated and assigned to overthrow the U.S. government through a series of kidnappings, assassinations and acts of terrorism. Sounds intriguing, right? The first issue, however, proves to be an exercise in inaction. Despite its attempts at political intrigue and clandestine operatives, Pigs moves at a snail’s pace, offering a modest payoff on the final page, but one that falls far short of making up for its banal introduction.

Maybe I’m being a little too harsh, but I expected a lot more from this issue. I’m a sucker for political thrillers. I love ’em. So when I read that Pigs was going to explore the idea of attacking the government, I assumed the introduction would involve gunfights, a siege of some kind and a harrowing kidnapping of a high-profile political figure. Elements of danger and double-crossing would pepper the story and as a reader, I wouldn’t know whom I could trust. Instead, we get some sort of interrogation, a dead father, a man dying on a bicycle and the severed hand of the president (on the final page!). But at this point, it’s too late to save the story.

There’s a Simpsons episode where Homer is hired to voice a new character, Poochie, who will be introduced into the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon to add new flavor to

an old show. The writers tease a fireworks factory (which usually means death and destruction), but halfway through the episode, when the characters have yet to get there, Milhouse breaks down and starts crying, saying, “When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?!”

I assumed the introduction would involve gunfights, a siege of some kind and a harrowing kidnapping of a high-profile political figure.

I mention this because I felt a similar sense of excitement, then confusion and finally frustration when I realized that we were never going to get a payoff. A lot of this issue feels like setup, but not even an intriguing setup. The characters aren’t likeable, nor are they relatable (the interrogation scene drags on at a frustrating pace, and not a single good guy seems like he could fight his way out of a paper bag, despite being a highly trained government official).

Pigs should be filed in your “pass” list. I wish I could make jokes about bacon and ham, but spending more time on this issue isn’t going to do anything except make me angrier. For what it promises, this issue fails in its delivery. While I may be a glutton for punishment, I know that I’ve been fooled once; the next time it will be my own fault.

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