His name is Gabriel Ehmm and he is a man on a mission from Saint Peter to investigate why the dead are rising outside of a small carnival town. The dead also happen to be clowns…and little people. Gabriel is dead too, shot in the face by a jealous girlfriend. “Mr. Whispers,” her cat, is deceased, talks and is Gabriel’s new partner. Got it? Neither did I.
EHMM THEORY, from Brockton McKinny and Larkin Ford, suffers from more than just this bit plot disjointedness. And wether this is intentional or not it’s a weakness in the overall delivery. The story kicks off with the smashing of a zombie clown’s head which is pure goofy fun. It’s a set-up that doubles back on itself after we get the details of Ehmm’s life and death. Mostly death. This is where I feel it starts going off the rails.
Ehmm wakes up after being murdered by his girlfriend. What’s going on? Never fear, Saint Peter arrives to explain. Or does he? Ehmm needs answers as to why a cat now talks to him and if he’s in heaven, hell or purgatory. The dialogue that follows makes it seem as though Saint Peter is just making up explanations as he goes. Which would be OK if there was any foreshadowing that this is all deception rather than just bad information. There is none of that. And while this story has it’s tongue firmly planted in cheek it doesn’t excuse Gabriel’s blind acceptance of Saint Peter’s mission. We are told that this is heaven’s first time at attempting a quest such as this but you never get the sense that there really is any kind of plan at all.
A good number one issue poses lots of questions that will get answered through-out a series’ run. The questions posed here need answering now though to develop and explore our lead character more not just as a set-up. I believe it needs both and we only get the latter. Again, all this misdirection and vagueness may turn out to be a terrific, mind-blowing development down the road. But I need to be hooked before I will follow.
Now that Gabriel has been sent back through time to kill undead circus clowns one final plot segment presents itself. During his first battle he is helped by an older woman named Alyona who seems to know immediately why Gabriel is there, who is “real” father is and joins his quest without hesitation. It’s that simple and a perfect example on how character development is wholly sacrificed to establish a plot that, so far, is just pieces and parts with no clear through-line.
S#!T Talking Central