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Advance Review: “One Hit Wonder” # 1

Fabrice Sapolsky takes aim on Hollywood with “One Hit Wonder.” The premise is simple; a one-time child star grows up disillusioned with fame and fortune. The drug of constant attention has worn off, so Ritchie Reese has turned to contract killing to get his rocks off. Artist Ariel Olivetti takes us through an inside look of Hollywood with a photo-realistic style that cleanly communicates the story and action.

WRITTEN BY: Fabrice Sapolsky
ART BY: Ariel Olivetti
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: February 26, 2014

“One Hit Wonder” makes an effort to distinguish itself from all other stories set within Hollywood. It believes that a world of contract killing and a no nonsense vengeful protagonist will be enough of a sell, but sadly the story doesn’t quite achieve anything totally unique. It’s the type of story we’ve seen before, set in a world we’ve seen a thousand times, with a protagonist’s whose motivation isn’t really clear.

Ritchie Reese is pissed off. He’s been left out of the limelight. We’re treated to a very brief flashback where we come to learn that his time as a child star was wasted. Yet, we have no explanation for how he can murder people in public and get away no strings attached.

All too often the story relies on familiar tropes to communicate the beats of the main plot. With no thought given to the impact of what’s on the page. There is a moment of theatrics near the end of the issue that honestly needs to be seen to be believed, its convenient storytelling that manages to avoid dealing with the threats it sets up. Making for a sloppy explanation, and an all-together confusing series of pages.

Ritchie doesn’t seem to have any remorse for what he does. He currently seems almost infallible in his efforts but is easily thwarted by his newest female hit. I can’t count the ways in which this story induced groans of familiarity from me. The debauchery on these pages isn’t enough to save this familiar adventure.

Ariel Olivetti’s art is clean and communicates the story with relative ease. Her art is very photo realistic. Characters look absolutely fantastic, and the action beats are handled magnificently. However, the script isn’t ripe with anything more than talking heads. Most of the backgrounds are rendered beautifully but don’t manage to impact an otherwise lackluster affair.

Nothing was seeded, and development was considered an afterthought where story and plot were seemingly considered first. Comics are a genre that thrives on character, and character alone. Ritchie Reese just isn’t attractive enough to have me invested in this book, but given a couple more pages of development I could have been singing another tune.

“One Hit Wonder” doesn’t make any effort to set itself outside of the typical behind the scenes of Hollywood fare. The protagonist doesn’t have a ton of depth to his motivation, and the story just proves unbelievable thanks to convenient storytelling methods. A little more time developing the central character would have went a long way to solving the bumps that brought me out of the story. I was invested in this callous asshole at the beginning, but just lost my suspension of disbelief near the end.

Rating: 2/5 Skulls.



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