The “WARNING! CONTAINS COMICS!” in the top right corner of the cover is something of an understatement for “CLiNT” #1; The majority of the 96-page magazine is comprised of comics with the odd, short article here and there to separate them. It’s an interesting package with Mark Millar headlining and editing, while he gets talk show host Jonathan Ross and comedian Frankie Boyle to also contribute.
Probably the biggest draw for comic fans is the debut of “Kick-Ass 2,” which gets eight pages here. Hit Girl is training Kick-Ass to be a tougher, better hero, while assuring her new family that she’s left that life behind here. The dual sides of Mindy are on display as she’s a hardass with her new student and trying to be a regular little girl with her new family. It’s an interesting tension. There’s not much here beyond introducing the concept, but it’s a solid eight pages with some very nice John Romita, Jr. art. One of the big positives about “CLiNT” is that, as a magazine, all of the pages are larger than comic pages, presenting the art in an oversize fashion.
The other major new comic in “CLiNT” is Frankie Boyle’s “Rex Royd,” which he co-writes with Jim Muir and features art by Michael Dowling. It focuses on a Lex Luthor analogue and his crazy schemes, in this case, the apparent decision to suppress his true identity and live as a security guard in his company while a decoy acts as his replacement. The idea has some merit, but the storytelling is so disjointed that the idea isn’t presented in a coherent or compelling fashion. The story just floats through with Dowling’s blocky, dark art that is rather rough around the edges. The analogue isn’t particularly strong or compelling either.
The new comics content of the magazine is rounded out with a pointless three-pager by Manuel Bracchi that has a man in the middle of nowhere beat a zombie ninja with a baseball bat after it hid out in the back of his truck. It’s barely a story and offers no clever twist or insight or gag. Its inclusion is baffling.
The comic content is bolstered by the complete reprinting of “Turf” #1 and “Nemesis” #1, both of which are entertaining reads featuring strong art on oversized paper. While not quite worth it for people who already have both, if you were looking for an excuse to give them a try, this is a pretty good way to experience them. While more original content would be nice, Millar picked two good choices as far as reprints go.
The articles range from topics like “Hot TV Mums” to an interview with comedian Jimmy Carr. The articles have a stupid, juvenile feel to them, but are somewhat fun, while the interview is oddly insightful about some of the details of being a stand-up comedian. For the target audience of teenage boys, the articles hit the right tone and make up such a minor part of the content that they never feel like a big distraction.
“CLiNT” #1 is definitely a Mark Millar production with a tone that matches his work, both in the articles and the other comics, and that most of the issue is comics content is a good sign. Not everything lands and not everything is new, but the magazine is still a slick periodical with a lot to offer.