Providence, Act 1

Alan Moore and Lovecraft sounds like a match made in heaven. His Swamp Thing run coupled with his numerous horror stories mean this material is ripe for a great adaptation. However, the execution is lackluster. Subpar art, muddled storytelling, and unnecessary prose makes for a disappointing book.

The story follows a reporter investigating a mysterious book that kills its readers. This leads him on a long trail of clues and through the many lives of people who have owned the book. Each new twist leaves more questions than answers and soon the reporter find himself tormented by his own fears and desires.

Alan Moore’s writing is unrestrained. He fills the book with his usual narration, but it lacks the skill and texture of his early work. He also ends each book with journals that recount the events of the issue from the reporter’s perspective. While he’s used this technique in other books, it always contributed to the story. Here, most of it is a rehash of what came before in comic form.

Jacen Burrows art also bring the book down. It lacks a good sense of inking, shadows, and depth. The result is a book that looks plastic and unappealing. You would think a writer as big as Moore would be able to pull big talent, but he now seems relegated to the dregs of comics, a sad hasbeen.

The result is an unfocused, self-indulgent mess. In the hands of another writer and artist this material could shine, but, as it is, retirement might be a good idea for Moore. Maybe he could write more novels where these sort of long-winded walls of prose are the order of the day. Here it feels tedious and out of touch with the potential of the medium.

© 2016 James Blake Ewing