GUY RICHIE’S GAMEKEEPER #1
Written by Andy Diggle and Drawn by Mukesh Singh
Published by Virgin Comics
REPRINTED FROM CWR 2.0
Where VIRULENTS did a solid job of taking formula and molding it into something fresh and interesting, GAMEKEEPER falls short on that account.
The Glen Morgan estate in the Scottish countryside has a reputation for taking in homeless teenagers, so when a new one shows up, no one thinks twice. The Gamekeeper, who takes care of security, hunting, and other violent aspects of the estate’s grounds brings him into to meet the lord of the manor, and goes back to work. But when it turns out that there’s a breach, the Gamekeeper must slide back into his violent past and kick some ass/take some names/go back on his oath to chill out. That old chestnut, ya know?
Andy Diggle is unquestionably a talented writer, and his LOSERS was one of the best action-driven books of the decade. But he really isn’t given much to work with here; indeed, it really isn’t like Richie gave him anything to work with at all. An interview with Guy is printed in the back of the book, and he basically acknowledges that he knows or understands anything about comics and can’t really remember the details of how he really got involved with Virgin Comics. Editorially, printing the interview was really an error; it pretty much acknowledges that GAMEKEEPER is little more than a huge bait-n-switch. You don’t expect Richie to pour over the plot with Diggle, but expressing damn-near indifference isn’t the way to go, either.
I liked Singh’s art and the color scheme he used, and he really seems to be stronger in quiet, personal moments versus the action bits, which is surprising these days. I’d like to see him develop a bit more fluidity in his characters’ movements during the action sequences as he progresses, but it isn’t something I would expect immediately. In all, GAMEKEEPER is a book that just doesn’t get it done and instead falls kind of flat. There’s room to grow, but it will depend on how much Diggle can take the concept and make it his own.