Issue: WALL-E #7
Release Date: June 16, 2010
Writer: Bryce Carlson
Artist: Morgan Luthi
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letterer: Jose Macasocol, Jr.
Covers A & B: Morgan Luthi
Publisher: BOOM! Kids
Well, that was a quick read. I had originally scheduled to have WALL-E read one night, written and proofread the review the next, and then posted sometime later on in the week. However, I was able to get all three done in one sitting. That’s not necessarily a good thing.
When WALL-E was released in 2008, it collected rave reviews, with critics praising its style, simplicity and, perhaps most importantly, the cute message behind it all. Beneath WALL-E’s metal exterior and bright eyes, the film managed to teach us a lesson of sustainability and to appreciate not only our Earth, but, indirectly, ourselves as well. Beyond the vision of a trash-torn world and an overweight human race were reasons, and, as it turned out, we were the cause of our home’s destruction.
Pixar doesn’t want to let that happen.
And so I loved WALL-E and delighted in its touching and almost speechless tale, bringing a romance perhaps as beautiful as Titanic. Pixar managed so much emotion with so little dialog, and the intermittent whirs of its leading members were vocal enough to make a point.
And that’s why, when I saw WALL-E on the list of comics available for review, I jumped at the opportunity. After all, how could an experience so gorgeous on the big-screen fail in a format so suited for graphics and sweeping stories?
Apparently, it could, as WALL-E’s comic book escapades certainly are underwhelming, and hindered by its almost too kid-friendly focus. Indeed, it’s classically clichéd and classically watered-down, with practically no gripping content.
Issue 7 picks up exactly where number 6 concluded, with Andy and WALL-E running for a spaceship in the distance. As it blasts off into the sky, Andy becomes more and more desperate to catch it and hopefully find a way to reunite with his family. Because, you know, you can totally reach a shuttle mid-way through take-off from thousands of feet away. Logic? I see none, but that’s beside the point.
But, as they get closer, Andy’s hopes at a lift home are crushed, and the apparent spaceship turns out to be little more than an oversized advertisement for the all-dominant Buy-N-Large. An ultimately anti-climactic twist, it’s a disappointing turn that sets no real urgency for the rest of the issue. So, instead, what comes next is merely a mesh of disconnected occurrences. We’re taken through a slew of underwhelming plot devices that do nothing for the story; instead, they’re just there to fill an issue. Andy gets startled and drops an important computer chip; WALL-E takes the already distressed astronaut on a bumpy ride through a sand storm; the two enjoy a moment’s rest in WALL-E’s home. And, of course, only one of those events serves importance to the central plot, and such a part is, while formulaic in execution, possibly the best-handled aspect of the issue.
That, unfortunately, isn’t saying much, as the rest of the comic is already terribly mediocre and drab. Even the art is rather dull, with very little appreciation for imagination or detail. Simplistic and filled with too many annoying scratches, some of the caricatures come off almost ugly. The repetition of mammoth-sized onomatopoeias, too, gets old after a while, with some pages littered with them. Granted, the art direction’s not a complete disaster, for the cover illustration of WALL-E’s upward peering eyes is nicely juxtaposed with an embedded image of a rocket taking flight.
But, in and of itself, there’s not much to be excited about here, and almost everything about WALL-E’s adventure is rather pedestrian and played out. There’s little emotion in the dialog, and creativity seems to be devoid. In the end, the story wraps up too cleanly and in the manner we all knew it would.
WALL-E, in its film form, was a testament to Pixar’s artistic genius, balancing striking animation with pitch-perfect story. But, when translated to ink and paper, that leveled scale seems to collapse.
Rating: 1.5 / 5 Stars