A new grift

I wanted to like this book.

The story starts off with Cole “Grifter” Cash on an airplane, and he’s not all there—he’s hearing voices and someone is chasing him. By the end of the issue, Grifter still isn’t sure what exactly has happened to him, and neither is the reader.

The only sure things to both Grifter and the reader is that he has lost a significant amount of time, and the quick decisions he made to escape the threats presented in this issue show that character actions will have consequences in this series, which I find a refreshing change from most action stories.

I think I understand what Edmonson is going for in the writing of this book—a very slow burn, that will lead to a series of satisfying “a-ha!” moments as the layers of mystery and confusion are slowly lifted. In some ways this reminds me of the technique the TV show Lost used. At the end of the Lost pilot, we had a lot of mysteries presented, but also some answers, or at least sure things about the characters and their world.  Unlike the Lost pilot, the first issue of Grifter raises too many questions and the characters are not nearly developed enough to be satisfying.

We don’t fully understand the threats, we don’t know much about the main character or his relations, and in turn there is little to care about here. I have no doubt as a complete story this will probably read great, but as a first issue this, simply, isn’t that great. The hooks presented to keep me interested to buy the second issue are not enough.

I loved the Wildstorm Grifter as presented in Sleeper, Point Blank and Wildcats 3.0, and was really excited to see a return of the character to prominence in the new 52. I know his origin would have to change in order to fit the DCU, but the hopes of seeing this familiar friend again was enough to get my very excited for the book. This different version of Grifter, the above mentioned problems, and in general my high expectations for the book resulted with me not feeling indifferent to what I just read, but something worse– disappointment.

I really want to like this book.

You only have one chance to make a first impression. I won’t be checking out the rest of the series unless there is a lot of a good buzz about the later issues.

This review was written for Geekscape.net

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