The Losers #20 Review
by Will Cooling on February 6, 2005

Reviewer: Will Cooling
Story Title: London Calling: Part One

Written by: Andy Diggle
Art by: Ben Oliver
Coloured by: Lee Loughridge
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Editor: Will Dennis
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

WE NOW PRESENT TO YOU THE 20TH INSTALLMENT OF THE LOSERS!!! AMERICA’S HOTTEST, MOST DARING AND EXPLOSIVE ACTION ADVENTURE SERIES THAT CHARTS THE ADVENTURES OF THE FORMER ARMY TEAM KNOWN AS THE LOSERS, WHO ARE DETERMINED TO GAIN REVENGE ON THE CIA AGENT KNOWN AS MAX WHO TRIED TO KILL THEM AND IN DOING SO STOLE THEIR LIVES. THEY ARE JOINED BY AISHA; THE SMOKING HOT AFGHAN WOMEN WHO HAS A HEART FULL OF HATRED FOR THOSE WHO KILLED HER FATHER!

LAST MONTH IN THE LOSERS WE LEARNT HOW THE LOSERS ESCAPE DEATH AND SO IN THE BURNING OF CHILDREN WERE CONSIGNED TO A FATE AND HOW IT WAS THE LOSERS WHO KILLED AISHA’S FATHER ON ORDERS OF MAX!!!

NOW THE TEAM IS IN LONDON, PLOTTING THEIR NEXT MOVE WHILST CLAY ATTEMPTS TO CALM ASHIA DOWN AND MAX MAKES HIS MOVE!

Ooh yeah! Do I just love this comic? (The answer’s yes dumbass!) This is what comics should be. Mainstream without appealing to the lowest common denominator, action-packed without being intelligent, explosive without being unsubtle and most of all, unlike so many of the “NEW-SUPER-IDENTITY-WAR-OF-M” comics that pollute racks across the whole of comicdom this is FUN! Amid the angst and conspiracy theories there are plenty of explosions, character quirks and quips that make the whole thing a pleasure to read. I’ve said it plenty of times but this is the comic equivalent of what young adults males enjoy in every other form of entertainment, it’s a mystery why more comics like this aren’t made.

Hot on the heels of the extremely powerful and gorgeously drawn “The Pass,” we now return from memory lane to The Losers continuing mission as they attempt to infiltrate Max’s operations. However, there are plenty of distractions especially Aisha whose not pleased at learning The Losers killed her father.

Andy Diggle is one of the hottest writers in comics at the moment and you can see why with this issue. His writing is spot-on for much of it. He is able to get you believing in his characters like no one else; he is able in very short scenes to add that spark that stops a character being a plot device into a fully developed character. This is especially impressive when you take into account he is dealing with an ensemble cast. The difficultly the likes of Bendis have had in nailing such titles proves what Diggle has done is a mean feat.

He is also a superb chorographer with the main fight scene between (spoilers) being incredibly dynamic and well put together. However, there a few faults in this issue. For one, the revelation that Aisha’s father was slain by The Losers is handled in such a way that it almost undermines the character’s reason for being there; something that on the face of it is a strange move. However, Diggle has shown himself to be a quality writer so we’ll just have to see where he’s going with it.

As for the art, well sadly we don’t get Jock (B&@$$#@%), so instead we get Ben Oliver on guest artist duties. Firstly, you’ve gotta hand it to Will Dennis, he’s doing an excellent job in managing the artwork for this title with the guest artists being expertly chosen to mirror (to a lesser or greater extent) the style of Jock. Sadly they can’t match his quality but it’s nice to have an editor actually thinking these things through. On a similar point, the moody colours of Lee Loughridge help the maintenance of a consistent look for the artwork.

As for Oliver, well in many ways he’s quite good. He’s very, very similar to Jock in style to the point that in parts its almost indistinguishable. However two things let him down. Firstly, he’s got a very rough and loose style and that’s cool, but sometimes its so messy that it affects the artwork. Secondly sometimes his linework lets him down when it comes to drawing faces resulting in either a substandard rendition of a character or an overly generic face leaving us with no idea who it is (especially a problem with the ending). Still he does a good job and its leap years ahead of the stuff that he did for 2000AD.

Overall, this isn’t the best issue of The Losers ever but its still an excellent comic that combines action, characterisation and plot in one highly-satisfying package.



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