The rejuvenated CliNT 2.0 arrived in shops yesterday, promising “sex, drugs and eyebrows”. Having not read the original, I can’t say if the eyebrow content was raised from its previous incarnation but as I flicked through CliNT my eyebrows were indeed raised. With an open mind and a bemused expression, here is my blow by blow look at the new CliNT 2.0.

The issue opens rather weakly with an interview/roundup of Mark Millar‘s various movie projects. While there are a great many tidbits to be learned, talking about movie adaptations of comics you haven’t read yet (though some are contained later in the issue) isn’t particularly enthralling. I found the discussion at the end about Millar‘s faith in relationship to writing American Jesus interesting, but it was an aside at best.

Lenlil Yu continues his streak of visually stunning comics with Supercrooks. The art really carries this segment. Yu has a natural fluid inclination, which makes even people standing around in a diner feel dynamic. The plot thus far, without giving anything away, is standard heist fare. Sadly, we don’t get to see the major attraction of a super-powered caper in action this issue. As setup goes, Millar and Yu do a fine job, but I want a little more bang for my buck.

I really wanted to like Rex Royd. I think Frankie Boyle is one of the most unique comedic voices working in Britain today and this is what I was looking forward to the most. What we get is, well, a mess. The two page introduction was a little helpful, but I felt like I was thrown in the deep end without a floatie. I understand that Rex Royd was in volume 1. And if someone who read volume 1 wants to comment on this, please feel free. As an introduction, it was awful. As a continuation of a bigger story? Who knows. Such a let down.

The magazine veers violently to the strange with a featurette on Lenore‘s 20th anniversary. While I quite enjoyed the series of pork based puns, it felt very out of place given the rest of the magazine’s content. I think it no coincidence that Lenore, like CLiNT, is going to be published by Titan.

Secret Service opens with a huge James Bond pretitles sequence, done in the typical skewed Millar fashion, of course. It harkins back to some of his work on The Authority in that regard, which is no bad thing. Sending up the familiar is a very easy way into a story and works here perfectly. We then cut to a London council flat and an entirely domestic affair. The British trailer trash aspects feel entirely too real and snap you back into focus after the Bond opening. This mixture of OTT and almost hyper-realism is palpable. Throw in art by the always fantastic Dave Gibbons, and I think we have the start of something really interesting.

We continue with an interview with a real life superhero who calls himself Clint. Definitely a Kick-Ass inspired hero, he comports himself very well. He is very matter-of-fact about his chosen path and seems fairly well adjusted. Whether this continues, we shall see. As CliNT points out, they legally cannot condone Clint’s actions. It’s an interesting conundrum.

The premise behind Death Sentence looks great. There’s an STD out there that kills you in six months, but in the meantime you get superpowers. It appears these powers manifest in different ways for different people, but we only see one instance. The art is grabbing, reminiscent in many ways of Charlie Allard, but with more of an urban grit to it. Montynero and Mike Dowling have created something  compelling here, with the potential to run for quite some time.

And with a standard letters page and a well written, if bizarrely included, one pager on actor Marko Zaror, CLiNT 2.0 comes to a close. On the whole, I enjoyed the magazine but I don’t feel it knows what it wants to be. If it’s a 2000 AD type comics anthology, there need to be more comics. If it’s more of a lads magazine, then there should be a greater variety of articles. If it’s trying to take the place of Wizard, then there needs to be more in-depth coverage. If it is simply the Mark Millar hype machine, well, then I want to see more Millar. Whichever way they play it, Death Sentence and Secret Service have me intrigued enough, I’ll be back for Round Two.

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Category: Comics, reviews

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