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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Dollar Comic Review: The Heist

The shop is right next to the biggest music store in the city, which means that a lot of people mistakenly come into our place looking for CDs, bongs, and chemicals that'll clean out your system. Today, for instance, a lady came in looking for the latter with her eight year-old son in tow, which made me think that not knowing the difference between a comic book shop with a bright yellow sign above the door and an independent record store was probably the least of her problems.

It also gives us the luxury of being able to walk over there to check out the new CDs, which is a blessing for a noted music buff like Tug. When he went over last week to pick up some of the new college music that the kids like so much, however, he got a little surprise.

They gave him a promo comic.

Click to Rappasize It! Posted by Picasa

"Diamonds Aren't Forever"
June, 2005
Writers: Brandon "Dutch" Schultz and Mike & Mark Davis (AKA "MadTwinz")
Pencils and Cover: Khary Randolph

Cover: And you thought Grant Morrison's Justice League had the Big Seven. We have a tradition at the shop of going off on tangents where we compare various things to the JLA (Scott and I talked about the Justice League of the McDonald's Menu for a solid hour one time--The Apple Pie is just like Green Arrow!), but I'm not even going to attempt that on this one. Two things, though: 1) The "Mature Content" that the advisory logo is referring to exists only in the theoretical sense, and 2) pound for pound, this out-blings any other cover in Marvel history.

The Plot: Now don't get me wrong, I'm not above reading a comic based on a real-world musician, because they're occasionally works of the purest genius. This one, however, while extremely entertaining, combines the less-than-intricate narrative of a promo comic with the complete lack of sense found in a comic based on musicians.

The enigmatic "Checkwriter," who one can assume writes a large amount of checks, has recently had a flawless diamond stolen by a rival named Clone, who, as you'd expect, makes clones. So in order to rectify the situation, he assembles a crack team of rappers led by Fat Joe to run an intense, highly specialized infiltration and retrieval operation.

That's a team of rappers led by Fat Joe, in case you missed it.

Along the way, they've got to do battle with Clone's army of fake thugs that he genetically engineered to take over the music industry. They shoot and blow up quite a few of them and it all works out okay in the end when they recover both the diamond and Trina. And the whole thing's co-sponsored by Rockstar Games.

The Highlights:
  • Twista, upon hearing how dangerous the eponymous Heist is going to be, demands double his "usual fee," and requests that it be "wired in 49K incriments" to his bank. Either he's using the standard rapper-breaking-into-a-cloner's-house rate of $294,000, or that's just weird.
  • Li'l Kim can apparently trick out a Humvee with "amphib mode" when she's not busy serving a year for perjury or singing about how her vagina has flavors. Quite a talented girl, eh, gents? And I hear she's single!
  • In the grand tradition of an ensemble book, almost every member of the team gets their chance to shine: TI scales a wall and seduces a hot maid, Li'l Kim snaps a zombie thug's neck with her thighs (no, seriously), Fabolous drives the amphibious hummer, and Trick Daddy blows things up with cartoonish amounts of dynamite. But nothing is better than when Twista blows apart an electronic door lock with the power and speed of his rap.
  • When they finally open Clone's safe (the one they manage to get to a car floating in the ocean during a firefight with zombie thugs), they find Trina, the "Diamond Princess," who gives the most cryptic piece of dialogue in the entire book: "I'm the diamond... Miami." Then she pulls out the actual diamond, and I have to drink another Red Bull just to make sense out of it.
Defining Moment: When they're getting ready to pull off the job, Fat Joe gives his crew a last-minute pep talk where he calls the fake thugs "mad deep." Then he pulls up his sweatshirt to reveal two pistols shoved into his pants at an impossible angle and says: "I got enough rounds to make any of those clones lean back." It's beautiful. He later pulls a full-size minigun (the kind they mount on the noses of helicopters) out of nowhere and mows down a row of fake-ass zombie thug playa hatas. One can only assume that this comes from his pants as well.

Final Thoughts: This one's wacky as hell, but it's actually not bad when you get right down to it. I mean, it's better than the Wu-Tang Clan comic, and I like the Wu a heck of a lot more than anybody in this one. Sure it's crazy and involves zombie gangstas, but the plot's decent and the heist-which is a massive cliche spread across six pages--is pretty fun.

It is, however, not even in the same league as the one where Prince has to fight his evil twin Gemini for the control of the New Power Generation. Now that's a comic.


Blogger Mon-El said...

Believe it or not, I don't have that one! What kind of a Prince fan am I??


7/07/2005 1:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we just found next months Comic Club selection.


7/07/2005 9:45 AM


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