Robinson/Feister's "Grand Passion" is a bit messy, sexy, confused, overbearing, insert ambiguous term here. I liked it/loved it, and while I cannot tell which is most accurate, it definitely landed on the positive end of the spectrum.
- Grand Passion (James Robinson, Tom Feister)
- 120 pages
- Dynamite Entertainment
- ISBN-13: 978-1524103910
Successful bank robbers, Mabel and Steve are moving from disguise to disguise, bank to bank, state to state. They follow precise plans and processes, back up plans on backup plans all the way to the handgrenades on the car trunk. They seem invincible.
James "Mac" McNamara is a cop. After his wife's death, Mac transfers to the police force of small town nowheresville. He is not well accepted in the good ol boy network.
After a bank heist gunfight leaves a bullet from Mac's gun inside the head of Steve, Mabel makes a promise to exact revenge. The trouble is that during the gunfight that killed Mabel's partner, Mac fell instantly in love with her, and Mabel fell in love with him. Mabel is torn between her feelings of revenge and her desire to settle into the curve of his post-coital arms.
Coming back to town to murder Mac, Mabel is caught in the middle of a crooked police force lynching and has to team with the man she lives to survive. Blood, bullets, and the stink of sweaty sex are in the air, like a fragrant valentines bouquet.
This was a pretty solid read: six original single issues dropped into one graphic novel. The artwork was enjoyable and the story was definitely in an original vein I have not run across before. The break out of how the story is crafted is a real treat. There was a freshness to this 'good loves bad' noir scenario that was appreciated. Narration is performed by the same old man who narrated The Dukes of Hazard, which while nostalgic, I was glad was minimized.
Though not detractors from the story, there are some points which stuck out as less than genuine. No matter how enjoyable this work is, make sure you are wearing your suspension of disbelief goggles while you read this. The sexuality is overt and sometimes feels rushed/ham-fisted, like a high school wet dream. Some scenes feel timed wrong, like Mac and Mabel are in a space/time bubble and the rest of the world is on pause.
I find it fascinating that James is the author and James is Mac's first name.. Was this some form of fantasy brought to comic form? Or does he just like his own name? Nothing wrong with either scenario, just feels a little suspect.
Disclosure: Cheering up a naked Frenchman by painting a kitten on his belly with toenail polish is a fun pass time for some. For others, we prefer reading. This graphic novel was provided for review purposes by the publisher, the nature of how I received it did not impact my perception of the comic.