Review: Razorjack / Author: John Higgins / Artist: John Higgins / Publisher: Titan / Release Date: Out Now
John Higgins is a well-respected comic book artist who is better known for his work on books like Hellblazer and Batman, specialising in horror and crime drama. Sadly, Razorjack proves that the thing he isn’t very good at is storytelling.
The plot of Razorjack is a convoluted affair. A portal to a demonic dimension filled with horrific creatures (including the titular Razorjack) is opened when (for reasons that don’t make much sense) a SWAT team accidentally murders a trio of student actors rehearsing Macbeth. There’s a subplot about a trans-dimensional detective, and some sort of celestial Madonna called Helen, but due to a distinct lack of narrative flow, it’s a bit hard to tell where it all fits in. Mostly, the art drives the story, and this is the main problem; Higgins is brilliant at illustrating hard-bitten crime fiction and horrifically demonic monsters, but not very good at conveying definitive meaning. Every page is an impressively dramatic scene, and splash pages are very, very common. It’s as if the artist has simply arranged his portfolio and added word balloons, rather than creating an actual story.
Higgins clearly has a very detailed world set out, and much of the art is weird and engaging. There are many sequences of very, very pretty set scenes, some utterly fantastic, others quite mundane, but they don’t make much coherent sense when strung together. The clearly cross-dimensional nature of the story doesn’t help either; at one point we’re in some sort of fantasy world, then we’re in the modern day, then we’re in some sort of hell dimension. The rules are never clearly established, and the entire affair leaves the reader dazed and confused. It is also unlikely that the art style will suit every taste; if you like hard-bitten criminals, gritty cityscapes and monsters with large breasts, and don’t particularly care for a story, this is for you. Otherwise, avoid.