Metal Locus #1-2
Often, when I’m sent independent action-adventure comics, the weak point is the art. Too many aspiring creators don’t understand perspective or three-dimensionality or the need for backgrounds. That’s very much not the case with Metal Locus. The art, by Larry Watts, is of professional quality. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in a corporate superhero comic.
The concept, written by Stephan Nilson, is also intriguing. A data courier is given a new, in-demand program to carry in his head to deliver to a corporation. The program comes alive and begs him not to complete the job.
The problem with Metal Locus is the structure. Not much happens in each issue; instead, we get several action scenes that don’t advance the story or tell us much about the characters. Content-wise, the series is lightweight.
The problem is even worse in issue #2. Issue #1 set up the premise, with Hermes and his gang (which includes a bruiser who looks like Wolverine as a caveman) on the run from their clients and trying to decide what to do. Issue #2 flashes back to show us Hermes getting the package in the first place, scenes that are completely unnecessary, since they’re going over ground we already know and preventing us from seeing the story advance. Half the book thus feels like a rerun.
Also, the super-secret AI is drawn as a beautiful, barely-dressed woman, begging for the lead’s protection, in a bow to sexist cliché. When some other women show up in issue #2, while the guys are dressed in t-shirts and pants, they’re wearing what looks like superhero bodysuits, tight and focused on cleavage. Clearly, this series aims to be traditional in the wrong ways.
Metal Locus has a lot of potential, but it’s flawed in key ways. Issue #3 is just out, and the miniseries concludes with #4. You can find out more at the publisher’s website. (The publisher provided review copies.)