Review: Platinum #1
Remember how much I ranted and raved about the artwork in Chakan the Forever Man? Those familiar with the comic typically share the same appreciation for Robert Kraus’s knack for drawing incredibly detailed stories in black and white. In RAK #1 when asked why Kraus prefers the black and white touch, he claimed that he’s “always been amazed by the old etchers and engravers like Gustave Dore and Durer and all those people who etched, engraved and did woodcuts, etc…these guys put so much time into their stuff. It looks so tooled… I like details, (it) shows in the artwork; highly detailed black and whites.”
He does mention that he’s comfortable working in all mediums, but prefers the detailed black and white approach.
That was 1993…. fast forward to 1998 with Platinum #1 “The Worlds First and Only Photorealistic 3d Comic Book!”
See? It says so right on the cover! And wow… what a cover… well, at least it’s not overly cluttered. On the right is Chakan… in color… and in “3d”… *sigh*
That alone should have been enough to turn me away, but at least he’s not in this mess for long. Oh no, the Forever Man, plays second fiddle to Platinum (left), a being made up of thousands of souls encased in a solid humanoid metallic shell, and Tammy Parks (bottom middle) a former Penthouse pet, and currently a porn star. She’s also a real person, and starred in such classics as “Titanic 2000” (the one with vampires) and “Attack of the 60ft Centerfolds,” although the comic calls it “Attack of the 50ft Centerfold.” The comic also mentions on the inside cover that this movie is a favorite of the Komodo Comics staff…. Ohhh so that’s why she’s in this, and apparently this is the only comic Komodo Comics ever produced…
…This is gonna suck… Chakan, hey buddy! It’s not too late! Just whip up a potion to teleport out of this! Save yourself!!
Oh, almost forgot, the demon behind them all is well, Mr. “DeMon,” a soul-eating hellspawn that masquerades during the day as a corrupt businessman.
The entire comic is illustrated through the magic of “trueSpace,” a software tool that creates three dimensional images.
This comic, and the character of Platinum, was the brainchild of Bill Fleming, who approached Robert Kraus with the idea of pairing up his character with Chakan. Kraus, probably wanting to help out someone that’s new to the industry, obliged, although I wonder what he thought when he saw this. The comic boasts that trueSpace will produce “the best 3D eye candy anyone’s ever seen.” As you read you realize, surprise, they lied.
So the story begins with Mr. DeMon feeding on the soul of his latest victim…
And Tammy Parks, an employee, interrupts during her boss’s feeding time. DeMon, enraged, sends his two cronies after her. Using what the comic describes “feline grace and power,” Parks attempts to fend off her attackers.
Meanwhile, Platinum hears the commotion in a nearby alley and goes to investigate. He easily dispatches of the two zombified henchmen. That is when DeMon takes matters into his own hands…
As is expected in a superhero team-up, you’d think here Platinum would get his metallic butt kicked by DeMon, until Chakan shows up. Once the two heroes are together, with their combined forces, could they defeat their common enemy. That would make the most sense from a story-telling aspect… but this story hasn’t made sense yet, so why should it now?
So Platinum body-slams DeMon right through a wall. The fight continues outside where Chakan finally teleports into the comic.
And then the comic ends with our two heroes (the comic forgot about Tammy apparently) staring down DeMon.
The titular hero, Platinum, is woefully dull. His frequent one-liners only annoy and his featureless appearance reeks of laziness. It is as if Bill Fleming (or whoever “illustrated” this garbage) started with the basic “male” model in the trueSpace program, gave him a shirt, pants and gloves, and wanted to call it a day. Not wanting to take the time to give the character basic features (hair, eyebrows, etc) he just colored his skin gray and enlarged his head. And thus, the metallic character “Platinum” was born.
The final page of the comic promises Platinum #2 but, to my knowledge, it was never produced. In fact, finding any information on this comic was pretty difficult. Judging from the ads for trueSpace in the beginning and end of the comic, this feels less like a sincere attempt at a story and more like an advertisement for the 3d modeling tool.
And THAT is what bothers me the most about this comic: Chakan, (who looks phenomenal when carefully illustrated the old-fashioned way), being used as a mascot for this lame 3D imaging program.
This was to be the second issue and wow… As if they weren’t content to merely leech off of Chakan’s minimal (but hard-earned) success and the fame (?) of Tammy Parks, they tried to rip-off 1997’s Men in Black.
And if you wanna really feel like a doofus, get your Platinum swag!
By the way, this comic is loaded with long-dead links, so as I said there’s hardly anything about Platinum or Komodo Comics on the net. If anyone has any details about their work and where this comic was going, I would like to know, so feel free to comment if you know anything.
I really don’t like ending my reviews on negative notes, so I will confess the idea of a hero being a living tomb for unquiet souls could have worked really well, if they tried to tell the story of Platinum without all the gimmicks. It is a shame they didn’t have the confidence in their own creativity to do that, and it is also a shame that such a great character was a part of this debacle.
– Furry Senpai Mikekun