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‘The Answer:’ Advance TPB Review

When I reviewed the first issue of The Answer way back in January, I found it quite entertaining, with adistinct, slightly off-kilter personality that appealed to me and the suggestion that what was to come would be a fun ride.  I had every intention of following it, but promptly failed to do so, and so coming to this collection of the Mike Norton and Dennis Hopeless 4-issue miniseries was my chance to remedy that particular oversight.  The end product is a good, but not great, little book that ought to entertain while it lasts but not too much longer.

To recap: the story turns on librarian Devin Mackenzie, an immeasurably brilliant young woman wasting away her life in a quiet and bookish job, kicking butt at Jeopardy! and crossword puzzles like nobody’s business.  She’s not challenged by life the way she wants to be, even when a ridiculously complex puzzle ball shows up as a birthday gift and then leads her to even more advanced puzzles.  She kicks their butt, too, but at least they “made her brain itch.”  In doing so, however, she attracts the attention of some dangerous people.

Enter the Answer, a superhero in a full-body costume with an exclamation point on his mask.  The Answer’s a little like a significantly toned-down Deadpool: violent, hard to kill, and clearly a few screws loose.  He’s a fun character, and I honestly wish there were more of him here and less of Devin, whose plot consumes the middle portion of the book and revolves around a twist that everyone – including Devin herself – will see coming immediately.

It’s that pacing that left me a bit cold with the book as a whole: the second act feels like an obligatory cliché, and for that it moves somewhat slowly, so by the time we get to the truth behind things, the revelations feel crammed in and poorly setup, and some of the answers I really wanted are left for stories yet to be told.  There’s enough in the book that I like to consider checking out any future adventures involving Devin and the Answer, but on its own this tale is fun, if ultimately forgettable.

Three Punctuation-Themed Masks out of Five



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