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Five Fists Of Science Paperback – June 13, 2006
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The story line is hard to pin down because it goes into some unexpected places and uses a very large map. And to say it's all over the map is not a criticism, but an observation as the story takes us to New York, Europe, Nepal and the mysterious land of...New Jersey. Most of the characters are well known from history; visionary OCD scientist, Nikola Tesla and perhaps America's finest humorist and author, Mark Twain team up to create a 19th Century Cold War using what might be described as Victorian-age, Reaganesque Star Wars technology. In a sense, it's all a sham (much like the Reagan's Missile Shield) or as Twain puts it, "showmanship!"
This improbable scenario is bested when the likes of Tommy Edison, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and for comic effect, Guglielmo Marconi, (who is suffering either from an eating disorder or a food hoarding compulsion) are portrayed as shape-shifting, evil wizards conjuring Cthulhu and his babies. Oh yeah, let's not forget to mention the Tesla coil pistols, the Abominable Snowman, giant remote control robots, a syringe shooting gattling gun and an early version of a hologram projector. There is a lot going on and while the basic story can be enjoyed in one sitting, it takes a few readings to get it all in. Fortunately, Fraction found the right artist to visualize this detail in Steven Sanders.
Sanders is asked to quick edit and often jump cut the action so that all of the story can be told in an appropriate number of frames, but never so few as to inhibit understanding what is going on. The extra treat that Sanders provides are elements that one can discover upon a second and third viewing; a particular look or nuanced glance one character gives another, interesting debris in Tesla's lab, the nightscape view of New York being approached from the ocean - nice touches all. Sanders has his very own style and one that is compelling without being objectionably heavy-handed. I like looking at his drawings, simple as that. The writing and art work together to make the entire experience entertaining and just a fun read.
Comparisons to Alan Moore's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" will no doubt occur but are short sighted. While both deal with historical characters (some real, some fictional) to indicate that they are too similar would be like saying Superman and Spiderman comics are alike because they both deal with super heroes. Each work must be viewed separately and judged/read/enjoyed on its own merits.
In respect to this work, I hope that Sanders and Fraction find other projects in which they can collaborate because graphic novel and comic readers will be in for another treat if they do.
I also hope we get to see Tesla and Twain in action again someday. They too, make a good team.
Which crashed and burned when I actually obtained a copy and read it. It's okay, and I got a few laughs from it, but the plot was trivial and contrived. I enjoyed the art, but it isn't enough to warrant buying the book.
SO, if you know the authors, or love geeky science stuff - you MIGHT like this. If you're looking for a good story, give it a pass and spend your money more wisely.
Oh and Edison is evil. Why? Because.
Pass this up and buy his superior books.
The idea of Tesla and Twain teaming up to bring peace to the world sounded awesome, and while Tesla and Twain are both written pitch-perfectly - and some of the supporting characters feel pretty solid too - the story as a whole feels nearly incoherent. I get the overall arc of it, but it just feels like it was a story that wanted to be much larger than a single trade paperback comic volume; in the end, there's a lot that's sort of crammed into the story edgewise without a lot of explanation, and the end of the comic just left me feeling unsatisfied.
I don't. I hate it. In fact if I knew before hand that would be the fate of a particular show I probably wouldn't bother with the pilot. But if you're one of the few that does like that sort of thing then by all means pick up The Five Fists of Science.
I liked everything about it. Except it was short and it never continued on. At the end I was left wondering what other adventures that will never be.
Most recent customer reviews
I liked the concept of having all of these historical figures in a comic.Read more
Five fist of science is more than a handful (pun). Buy it now.