SUSPEND.GIF (3666 bytes) Suspended Animation
by Michael Vance & Jon Suter

971103a1.JPG (7357 bytes)

  The Two Faces of Tomorrow #1 (of 1311 $2.95 and 32 pages, Dark Horse Comics/original novel: James P. Hogan/available at comics shops and by mail.

  Originality is a first.

  Innovation is looking at a first in a new way.

  Originality is as rare as, well, braces on hen's teeth, and innovation is as rare as hen's teeth.

  Stories about thinking computers have been a bit long-in-the-tooth for several decades now, possibly even for centuries.

  So, is it possible for a Japanese adaptation of an sf novel about super computers to still have some bite?

  Yes.

  In The Two Faces of Tomorrow the super-computers that run Earth are causing accidents. So a team builds a super-machine that can think, and test it in a confrontation between man and computer.

  Why worry? If things go wrong, the computer can always be turned off or destroyed, right?

  Riiiiight!

  Oddly enough, neither the art nor adaptation by Japanese cartoonist Yukinobu Hoshino is startlingly innovative. And yet, the whole seems greater than its parts.

  A cliche?! How innovative.

  Hoshino's whole strength lies in his tight scripting and pacing, and in believable characters. His plotting is precise and intriguing, and Hoshino's dialog is crisp and realistic.

  Crisp? That's real original.

  His greatest weakness may be that Hoshimo's simple animation influenced art lacks the realism needed to heighten the suspension of disbelief and create the suspense necessary for this type of reality based science fiction

  Do his strength's outweigh his weakness (or mine)?

  At $39 for the series, The Two Faces of Tomorrow needs to be exceptional to win wholehearted recommendation But its first issue shows so much promise that it at least deserves a sampling. MV


971103b1.JPG (9163 bytes)  Tales To Offend #l [Dark Horse]. This collection of sf and crime short stories is an uneven mix of self-parody and gritty "comics noir" art. Its writer and artist, Frank Miller, is King of the Extremes, either extremely good or incredibly bad. Here, he once again pushes the envelope...

  ...into the trash. MV


1997 Starland