Hyperkinetic #1

It must be hellish for an independent comics publisher to get potential readers interested in a new project. I mean, the way the system works now, you really need customers to commit to buying your product 2 months before it will actually be released, based sometimes on nothing more than a short teaser blurb buried somewhere in middle of Previews. If you are one of the Big Two companies, and your comic has an "X" or "Bat" in the title, then you have a chance. If you are publishing through Image with a brand new concept, you had better make that teaser as tantalizing as possible.

Well, here's what Image solicited for the first issue of their four-part Hyperkinetic miniseries:
"Four intergalactic highly skilled female bounty hunters pursue an elusive prey. They end up going through a wormhole and crashing on a weird alien planet. They now have bigger concerns such as giant killer robots and crazy aliens."

Talk about hitting a home run! Give that solicit writer a raise. "Female bounty hunters"? "Weird alien planet"? "Giant killer robots"? Exactly how fast can someone get a copy of this bad boy into my sweaty little appendages? I preordered the thing with no hesitations.

Two months later, I've read Hyperkinetic #1 and come to a sobering realization: the solicitation wasn't a short teaser suggesting the skiffy delights within, but rather a detailed, thorough plot synopsis of everything that happens in the issue!

Seriously, next to nothing happens in this comic. The four leads chase a fleeing fuzzball in their spaceship, while cracking wise to each other. Their ships crash; they make more snarky commments. Their pursuit is briefly interrupted by a jungle cat attack, then they catch up to the perp at his safehouse, where he sics some giant robots on them. The end.

Almost nothing is explained. We don't know what this bad guy, Renpy, is wanted for, who sicced the bounty hunters on him, or why normal law enforcement couldn't handle it. We don't know where Renpy is running to, or who he is supposed to be meeting that will be angry that he is running late. All we're given is "there's these girls chasing this alien".

Usually I'm all for some witty one-liners slipped into a fun romp of a story. The problem here is that it's nothing but snarky comments, and really the level of humor is pretty sophomoric. Of course, humor is subjective, so let me give a few examples of the hilarity which ensues. Be prepared to play back the snickerings of Beavis and Butthead in your mind as you read the following:

Robot pilot, after the ship crashes:
"I think my lug nuts are loose"
"Ewwww. Keep that to yourself, perv."

(Get it? 'Cause he said "nuts"! Genius!)

"Oh yuck. I stepped in some kitty poo and ruined my new shoes."

"Alicia, I'm sorry I told that cute guy you liked on Zevpen 7 that you have genital fungus."
"You're the one with gential fungus!"
"Yeah, now he has it too."

Ahhh, good times. Let me pause a sec whilst I wipe the tears from my eyes. Did I mention the "heroes" track down their mark because he leaves behind a pair of dirty underwear with his name and address written on the tag?

At the very least, you would expect a comic like this to have some sexy T-and-A quotient. After all, these "highly trained" bounty hunters run around in belly shirts and pushup bras with their thong straps showing. But sadly, Matteo Scalera is no J. Scott Campbell. His wonky, cartoony style depicts these girls as gangly and angular with spastic facial expressions. And did I mention they have a genital fungus? They're about the unsexiest sexy comic characters you will ever come across. Scalera's art might be suited to, say, a Spongebob Squarepants comic, but good girl art is not his forte.

Hyperkinetic is not completely amateurish, but it is shockingly slight for the $3.50 cover price. The fact that this is a four-issue mini rather than a one-shot floors me, because really I see nothing in here that would entice anyone to spend another $10.50 for the rest of the story.

All in all, I can't give this comic anything higher than a 5 out of 10.

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