Longshot 1 was written by Ann Nocenti with Art by Art Adams and opens with the titular character on the on another world, before running into a portal to arrive in New York city. He has no idea who he is, why he was being chased and why he seems to be so lucky.
After saving a woman from a car accident and inadvertently causing a rain of silver coins, he runs from the gathering crowd and is helped by a survivalist called Elliot to get clear. After accidentally stealing a leather coat from a shop, by not understanding how commerce works, he finds a talking animal-like creature, who seems to know him, but leaves when he meets up again with Elliot. Inside Elliot’s bunker, the unnamed hero learns of a missing baby and decides to go and get that baby back.
They find the mother, a lady called Hester and she shows the doll that was left for her in place of her baby. Longshot holds the doll and is bombarded with psychic flashes, showing the baby, Hester’s love and the place where the baby is and after escaping the local police, this trio head to a nearby abandoned tower to battle the monsters who have taken, including more animal-like beasts and a woman with six arms, called Spiral. These beasts know Longshot and blame him for them being there, there is a pitched battle which when Longshot begins to think only about the baby, the battle goes his way and the baby is saved. Elliot, Hester go one way and Longshot after confirming his name meets his furry friend from before, realising that this creature knows more than he’s telling, the two walk off, to wherever they find themselves.
As a longtime X-Men fan, who dipped into X-Titles off an on before the 90’s, I first saw Longshot as a background character during Inferno. He interested me, with his pure motives and uncanny luck and it looked like a blank character. I read this comic, hoping to find something with more depth. Nope, pure motives, uncanny luck and no personality. But here, that works. The memory addled protagonist is something of a trope by now and a well worn one at that. But this was something different. He was blank and yet, there’s a depth to that. Nocenti uses his lack of stuff to allow the story to sort of happen to him and use this lack of agency to move the story along, without having the character pulled along with it. His open-ness and genuine manner makes him trust worthy and a little naive. Perfect for a story with horrors, action and mystery inside of it. The battle in the latter half is at times unclear what is really happening and you don’t get many answers at all, but it’s more of a chapter one, than an issue one. This is where the story begins.
The art is one of the best parts of this story, Arthur Adams creates expressive characters and fantastical imagery and it all fits together well, action packed and well paced, but detailed and intricate in places.
Does this issue work on it’s own? No, it really doesn’t. Is the Longshot series worth checking out? Oh yes.
Not a long one, but it’s a good beginning, beautifully crafted.
Next time: Battling alongside the Avengers was easy, now they face …The Suburbs.