November 8, 2011

Top Cow Reviews: Misdirection #1

Misdirection #1
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Filip Sablik
Artist: Chris Dibari
Cover: Michael Gaydos

Misdirection is yet another offering from Top Cow’s Pilot Season line of books that hit the shelves this month. These Pilot Season titles are put out as one-shots, and the one that the readers like most ends up as a mini-series at a later date. So it’s left in your hands which one makes it and which ones don’t. I’ll go ahead and admit that this book had a big strike against it when it showed up for me to review, and that was the whole NASCAR aspect. It’s just something that never interested me as guys make left turns all day, and the only excitement people seem to get is during an event that can possibly cause one of these drivers to get killed. On the other hand, though, we have Filip Sablik writing this thing, so there was the light at the end of the tunnel and the hope that Misdirection wouldn’t disappoint.

Vince Martinez is the man with a choke hold on NASCAR right now as he’s just won his sixth consecutive race. Things quickly change in the span of one evening, with a couple of bad choices that drastically end up changing this young man’s station in life. Many years later he’s all but forgotten, until an exposé is aired and a friend from the past reaches out to help. It’s when things get entirely too crazy that Vince finds out this isn’t the help he wants, but it’s too late to turn back, because now the life of his family is at stake.

During the beginning of this issue there wasn’t much for me to get interested in with regards to the story itself. It was pretty much by the numbers events filled with the corny sexual innuendo dialog that guys use when drunk and hanging out with ankle bracelet models (strippers). However, I do understand that was done on purpose. It was during Vince’s fall from grace and Sablik’s depiction of his life during this time that Vince seemed to get a bit more interesting. In just a few short pages Sablik pretty much changed my entire opinion of the story, and then kicked it into overdrive (no pun intended) as Vince was faced with the truth of what was asked of him by his friend. Even though you just know that things are going to go wrong a second time for Vince, Sablik was able to deliver that brief glimmer of hope right before dropping the anvil on his character’s life once again.

In regards to the artwork, Dibari’s style was hit and miss with me. When the pacing of the story slowed down, the artwork was less impressive, but when things picked up or we had a tense moment, like when Vince visits his ex-wife, things were much better. Dibari also draws one hell of a chase scene at the beginning and again towards the end of the book. Sometimes those come off without the fluidity needed to make them seem as much fun in comics as they are to watch in your favorite action movie. However, he pulls it off effortlessly in the pages of Misdirection.

After realizing Misdirection is more about the possible redemption of the character and less about NASCAR, I was able to move past a few things and see a solid story. Sablik moves it quite well with all of the points needed to make for a very good title. Whether or not it makes for a very good ongoing title will be up to the fans, but I’d suggest giving Misdirection a look and deciding for yourself.

Infinite Speech