One Hit Wonder #1

4.33 Overall Score
Art: 7/10
Dialogue: 3/10
Story: 3/10

The art is enjoyable and there is a delightful easter-egg for Batman fans.

Cliche and dim-witted. It wants to be both an action-thriller and a cutting Hollywood satire. It fails at both.

One Hit Wonder #1
Story By: Fabrice Sapolsky
Art By: Ariel Olivetti
Image Comics
2014

I watched all eight seasons of HBO’s Entourage. I hate Entourage. I hated Entourage pretty much from the beginning. It was a show, so obviously a cog in the Hollywood machine, pretending to be something subversive and edgy. But yet I watched. The new comic from Image, One Hit Wonder, is a lot like HBO’s Entourage: both endlessly pleased with their half-hearted ability to skewer the easiest of Hollywood targets. And in the world of One Hit Wonder, edginess and trite Hollywood cliches are two sides of the same coin.

One Hit Wonder, from writer Fabrice Sopolsky and artist Ariel Olivetti (and lettering by someone or someones named The Wolfpack), is about Richie, a one-time Hollywood star who is now the business’s premiere hit-man. It’s an interesting concept, that is muddled the second it’s introduced. Though I’d imagine Sopolsky fancies this book as biting satire, it’s mostly mean spirited. And furthermore, it’s easy satire; its targets include reality TV stars, Hollywood agents, Paris Hilton and, indirectly, Michael Jackson (more on that in a bit). Not exactly Dr. Strangelove.

All of Sopolsky’s insights into the culture of Hollywood are pedestrian and seem to be informed by supermarket tabloids. Though the cover refers to Richie as a “superstar” and the title of the book suggests he was a flash-in-the-pan musical act, he is neither. His superstar status apparently came as a child actor in commercials. I like the idea of a Brad Pitt or George Clooney caliber star trading a life of stardom for a life of crime (as the cover suggests). But our hit man is less Brad Pitt and more Mikey from those Life Cereal commercials. Further illustrating Sopolsky’s guileless view of a sensationalized Hollywoodland, a full page panel is dedicated to the reveal that Richie’s home/bunker/hideout is Neverland Ranch. As in Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. And if you think this bizarre choice would be expounded upon, you’d be mistaken.

Alas, there are a few positives in One Hit Wonder. Ariel Olivetti’s artwork is quite fun; done in a warm, oily style with sharp, defined lines but creamy colors. Despite my gripes about the story’s dull satire and general obliviousness, once Sopolsky gets the mean-spirited and petty wish-fulfillment fantasy out of his system, the comic gets a bit more enjoyable. After offing a therapist (one of several therapists he’s apparently killed, because, fuck therapy, I guess) Richie is hired to kill a high-powered woman, named Molly Hines, who has done his boss wrong. Molly Hines is the most dynamic character and the comic teases her story in issues to come. The best moment of One Hit Wonder is a delightful and subtle homage to Alan Moore’s seminal Batman book The Killing Joke.

One Hit Wonder is a book with some stuff I liked and a lot of things I didn’t. It’s a little interesting. A little flashy. And a lot dumb. It does end on an interesting note, trying its best to rope me into Issue 2. But I know not to go down that rabbit-hole. I guess I have Entourage to thank for that.

 

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Craig Schroeder
Author: Craig Schroeder View all posts by

I am a graduate of Florida State University, studying Creative Writing and History. Right now I work a desk job but I dream all day of making a living writing comics. I formed an indie label based in Tallahassee called Gentleman Baby Comics and HIT! is our debut comic.

I read a lot of comics. I watch a lot of movies. I drink too much soda. I love a great television show.

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