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S.H.O.O.T. First #1

by Sean Tonelli on October 16, 2013

S.H.O.O.T. First #1
After my first read through of this new series from Dark Horse Comics, I decided to check their website to see how the publisher has chosen to market this particular book. ‘Controversial, irreverent, and original’ are just some of the buzz words tossed about the website. The ad execs even go on to describe the books creative team as the ‘next big thing’. Well after reading through S.H.O.O.T. First #1 I can honestly say that those marketers are full of crap.
S.H.O.O.T. First #1 tells the tale of a rag-tag group of atheists who form a secret government agency used to bring down demons or angels— I think? I really had no idea what was going on here, mainly because I just didn’t care. Right off the bat we are greeted to some horribly hockey dialogue followed by the same boring stereotypes one would find on most ‘covert teams’.  I find it personally insulting that Dark Horse would bill this book as original since it uses nearly every cliché in the book:
  • Tough but fair mother who doubles as a secret agent? Check
  • Civilian with a heart of gold who is reluctantly recruited? Yup
  • British guy who says bollocks a lot? Of course
  • Mysterious guy in suit who runs the whole she-bang? You better believe it
And that’s not even the worst of it. From using unicorn horns as weapons and a giant robot, it seems like writer Justin Aclin is more concerned with giving us everything he thinks a reader would want, instead of what the story actually needs-- a plot. It’s religious element is no doubt where the supposed 'controversy' lies, but just because you use religion in your story doesn’t make it controversial. Having Jesus sleep with Mary Magdalene? That’s controversial. This book? Is just lazy, plain and simple.
As if honing the bland the writing with his pen, Selma’s art matches the story perfectly, and that’s not a compliment. As soon as I turned to the first page, I thought to myself ‘wow this is bland.’ The characters resemble a bad 90’s Wild Storm team and are often featured with bland expressions. The backgrounds are bare, almost non-existent and the cell-shaded colouring makes the book look like a first year art students Kickstarter project. Normally I can find something to like about a book, but just like the creative team, I'm just not going to bother either. 
If you are looking to throw your money in the garbage but don’t want to get caught not recycling then S.H.O.O.T. First #1 is the book for you. Just make sure you call your finical advisor after words-- he’s going to want to slap you.
S.H.O.O.T. First #1
Writer: Justin Aclin
Art: Nicolas Daniel Selma
Colours: Marlac
Letters: Amanda Aguilar Selma
Publisher: Mike Richardson for Dark Horse Comics

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