Tuesday, April 26

Live and Kicking

Adam Warren and Rick Mays team up for Live Wires.

I've always been a fan of Adam Warren, ever since I was blown away by his art for Dirty Pair: Fatal But Not Serious and later, the two Gen 13 mini-series he put together. I've always been struck by his distinct, cute big-eyes style, which boasts very clean lines and great action and detail (especially in his later works). I have some issues with his writing- how his stories are a bit too text heavy sometimes, and his characters don't just talk banter in the middle of fights- they talk whole volumes. Nevertheless, I love the man's work, along with all his anime-pop culture references and the sexy babes and his wacky, if sometimes dark, plots.
I first saw Rick Mays art in David Mack's Kabuki series, and again it just impressed me with his clean lines and lovely panels chock full of movement and detail.

Bring together these two and what do you get? Livewires, of course. This title, written and laid out by Warren with pencils by Mays is a 6-issue mini-series about a team of artificial life-forms, or constructs (Don't call them 'robots', it's impolite), created by a secret, ultra-black government lab for the express purpose of taking out other secret weapons projects.
At the start of the first issue, we find a young girl apparently being taken on for a ride with one of these construct super-mecha, code-named Cornfed (since he's basically white-trash). In a typically straight-faced Warren method of exposition, he explains the situation to the girl as he drives the humvee they're riding into a heavily-guarded complex complete with fiery giant robot guardians.
Soon we are introduced to the rest of the team. Social Butterfly is a shape-shifting female whose specialty is affecting human emotions and reactions. Gothic Lolita is the team's powerhouse; a bruiser in black lace and eyeshadow who can punch holes in armor plated walls with her bare hands and feet. Finally, there's Hollowpoint Ninja (gotta admit that's a damn cool name), the stealth and infiltration expert. Then of course, there's the hapless tag-along girl herself, who's a lot more than she first seems to be...

Wild code-names, over the top action and clever banter, lots of pop culture in-jabs and pretty cool tech stuff are what dominates this title, which means it's Warren at what he does best. The art is very much like Warren's own; Mays does a great job of emulating the more popular style of his writing partner, but there are some rough points every now and then. Overall though, the pages rock with vibrant color, non-stop action and eye candy, and come across with likeable characters that have that edge to be considered a 'Next Gen' title for Marvel. It's cool, it's pretty, it's techy and sexy and it's darn fun. My kind of book!

So far I've got three issues of this title, and it just gets getting better. I can only hope that Live Wires doesn't fizzle out after the sixth issue, and that Mr. Warren and Mr. Mays see fit to continue the adventures of these trigger-happy 'oids.. however, I fear that few, if any, of the characters will survive Warren's bonafide mean streak which often ends up killing off characters quite ruthlessly. All I can say is... KEEP GOTHIC LOLITA. And Hollowpoint since his name is damn cool.

Get your copy of Livewires at Comic Quest or other well-stocked comic shop in the Metro.

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