The Samaritan, from publisher Vantage Inhouse Productions, author Victor Dandridge, and artist Ren McKinzie, is a vigilante drama about a community where drugs, prostitution, and gang violence run rampant. However, a new mysterious tenant has made it his mission to ensure justice is served, by any means necessary.
The writing is rather hit and miss, at moments the story exhibits potential characteristics of James O’ Barr’s, The Crow series, ultra gritty, dark, and packed full of atmosphere. However, more often, the story is plagued by poorly used clichés, and horrible character development, causing it to fall way short of its potential.
Instead of endlessly pounding the fact that the community is rough into the heads of readers in this debut issue, it would have been far more productive to give the audience a reason to latch onto Smith, perhaps a reason that he is so dedicated to being a vigilante, even if only a brief tidbit of information to lure readers back for issue two. The climax of this first issue, also felt unneeded and forced, could have really used more build up than it received, the lack of detail quick pace, makes it hard to become invested in the story at all.
Art wise, The Samaritan, is equally forgettable; each panel is as visually boring as the last. Quickly it becomes nothing more than endless clusters of ineffective visual aids, mainly due to an immense lack of details, which also causes almost immediate eyestrain. The artwork could have saved the book from its sub par writing, but instead simply adds to its overall vibe of incompleteness.
The Samaritan is very much a title that can be skipped, not even the most hardcore of hardcore genre fans will be able to find any sort of redeeming qualities within its pages. The debut issue fails to give readers any real reason to return, and truly felt more like a brainstorming session, than a complete product. Low quality story telling, bad art, and the inability to spark the start of a relationship between Smith and readers, become more than enough nails, to seal its own coffin.
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