§ August 7th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

So in his list of things he “missed” during his internet downtime, pal Dorian mentions “‘professional’ comics reviewers [that] missed the point of the material they were reviewing.” That reminded me of one of my favorite missing the point reviews, which is actually sort of timely now since the reviewed material in question, Alan Moore and Ian Gibson’s The Ballad of Halo Jones, has recently been rereleased by DC Comics.

Anyway (and there may be a slight SPOILER here), during the segment of the book in which Halo Jones is in the army, she and her squad shoot and kill an enemy attacker, only to discover that the attacker was in fact just a kid. As Halo and the other soldiers continue on, they discuss the apparent age of the enemy soldier, talking themselves into believing that the kid couldn’t possibly have been as young as she looked, to cover their guilt at having killed a child. The perceived age of the kid increases gradually, until “by the time we reached base, she’d practically died of old age,” as it says in the final caption.

The review I read, a review which did appear in a nationally distributed and well respected review/interview comics magazine, interpreted this segment slightly differently: “A young sniper is shot by Halo’s platoon, but continues to age rapidly after her death. The cause is never explained.” The full page with this sequence is even reproduced with the review, so everyone reading the magazine can see how badly the sequence has been misinterpreted. (And I reread the review, just to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreting the reviewer’s intent, just in case he was trying to be snarky or ironic or something…nope, as far as I can tell, that comment was to be taken strictly at face value.)

In fairness, the fellow who wrote the review is a smart and witty guy, judging by his other work, so for all I know he reread the material a few weeks later, smacked his forehead, and shouted, “oh, for God’s sake, how did I miss that?” I mean, we all miss painfully obvious things once in a while (ever tell you my Ms. Tree story? Sure I did).

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