The story centers around an unnamed American soldier in the Revolutionary War who winds up transported to a “Wow-Mart” in modern-day America. Initially confused about where he is, the soldier soon sees these strange events as a redcoat conspiracy, and barricades himself inside the store. When the police arrive on the scene to deal with the “crazy homeless man,” they discover that they are in no way prepared to deal with the guerilla tactics of this man-out-of-time. Brady Sullivan’s script is tight and polished, and the story is definitely entertaining. The bulk of the book reads like a psychopathic version of Home Alone, with the soldier rigging up the store with a seemingly endless array of improvised booby traps. The action is fast and bloody, and though it is quite graphic, it’s never gory, so watching these officers being dispatched never gets disturbing enough to stop being fun. I did have a couple of issues with the script: first, there were a number of typos. Nothing too glaring, they were mostly just the odd misspelling of a word, although a few different characters mentioned the current year being alternatively 2011 and 2012. Smaller titles don’t always have the luxury of an editor, and even mainstream titles have the occasional typo, but in a medium with such a small allotment of written words, each one becomes that much more important. Having just a few typos can really drag down a title's feeling of professionalism. Also, the satire in the book was a bit too heavy-handed for my taste. The whole point of the story is that the America this soldier was fighting for is unrecognizable to him: its citizens have become slovenly, lazy, and small-minded. A great concept, but everybody the soldier runs across is so grossly a caricature that it begins to ring false. The satire would have been more insidious if these people had seemed more real.
Andrea Schiavone’s art is really solid. Artwork on indie titles can often be spotty, but Schiavone’s work in Revolution Aisle 9 is crisp and kinetic. I mentioned before that the book is graphic without being gory, and that is largely due to the artist clearly telegraphing what is happening (or about to happen) to an unlucky cop without lingering on suffering. In this way, the book is able to maintain the pacing of a true thriller. Also, it bears mentioning that even though the soldier in the story sets up a few elaborate traps that take several panels on the page to spring, the way they work is always clear, so kudos to Schiavone for that.
Revolution Aisle 9 starts off strong and has a fun and thrilling middle, but the ending is cheapened somewhat by the bluntness of its satire; however, it’s a creative concept for a story, and if you’re willing to overlook the story’s shortcomings, I think you’ll be entertained . . . and isn’t that the point?
To learn more about Revolution Aisle 9, please visit the Death Springs online store.