One Hit Wonder

One Hit Wonder
One Hit Wonder graphic novel review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Image Comics - 978-0-9992-7661-7
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9780999276617
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Crime, Humour

Richie Reese is the self-absorbed idiot his ambitious mother began to shape when she started his film career in childhood. Except he’s a terrible actor, and by the time the roles require more than his smiling face he’s already decided on his real career, which is with the Mafia. When One Hit Wonder opens he’s addicted to the fame and is advertising his chosen new career as a hitman.

Fabrice Sapolsky plays Richie strictly for laughs, accentuated by Ariel Olivetti illustrating as if he’s auditioning for Will Elder’s slot illustrating Little Annie Fanny for Playboy in the 1960s. A slim plot about Richie coerced into working for the FBI is Sapolsky’s method of tying together scenes of Richie committing inventive mayhem across the USA. He has it in for reality TV shows, has little respect for his FBI handlers, and we see him studying to be gangster throughout his youth in One Hit Wonder’s best sequence.

However, having spent three chapters playing Richie strictly for laughs, Sapolsky runs out of ideas, and has another two chapters to fill. Because there’s no time been spent considering Richie as anything but a joke, a small injection of pathos falls flat, and too much time is handed over to a monologuing gangster explaining his plans. They’re meant to be funny, but aren’t really, and by that time Olivetti has bailed, leaving the art to Stephen Thompson. He’s good, but doesn’t have the rounded 3-D look Olivetti established, and even Thompson doesn’t finish the project. It’s another step down to Ivan Fiorelli, who isn’t as talented as either previous artist.

There’s some potential to One Hit Wonder, but it’s rapidly squandered, so doesn’t even live up to the title.