Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Gray, Palmiotti, Daly & Mounts
The double-sized one-shot (more of a short graphic novel) brings a story about crime, science fiction and the old west. Leave it to Gray and Palmiotti to mix up multiple genres to make an interesting and fun read. Trailblazer is a fast-paced story that takes the story into some many directions so quickly that you can’t believe where it all ends up. It’s got just about everything you could want in a non-super hero comic book. All that’s missing is a zombie or two. I definitely recommend picking this up.
The book starts in modern times with a man named Jacob. Jacob lives sort of a double life. He works in the underworld in the roll of a killer (among other things), but in his regular life he gives over his money to the only family he’s got: the orphanage that raised him. He ends confronting the wrong boss and things go badly.
Jacob turns on everyone and is in need of the witness protection program. The government sends him into the past, the old west to be precise. The trick is that he can never return. He gladly accepts and goes off to the old west.
Jacob builds a life in the 19th century and finds love and a career he excels in. While this is going on some folks figure out where he has gone and follow him.
The time travel idea for the witness protection program is not original (in fact Image had a series a few years ago called “Hiding In Time” that covered the exact same ground), but it is used very effectively. The obvious questions from this premise though is how willing these people are to travel back in time without understanding or caring that they can never return. It seems extreme but it works fairly well regardless. The story uses the time travel premise sparingly enough that you don’t have characters dropping in all over the place. This helps to put a boundary on the story gimmick. Overall, the story is what stands out and not the gimmick which is a good thing.
The artwork tells an excellent visual story. Despite the fact that there are several inkers on the book the comic book has consistency throughout. The action is excellent, specifically when there are massive amounts of characters involved in gun fights. The book doesn’t struggle with making the characters unique which is impressive considering how they are all unknown entities coming into the story.
Trailblazer is a fun read that bounces from scene to scene in such a way that the words “decompressed story telling” are the last thing you would think about. Gray and Palmiotti remind the reader that comic books are allowed to be fun, intelligent and entertaining at the same time. The ideas in here are good and flow nicely together. Gray and Palmiotti have created an interesting world (one that could be revisited again in a sequel) and provide some real value for the $6 cover charge. If you are looking for something different I recommend taking a chance on this book and its forty plus page story. You won’t be disappointed.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles