Tag: Revolver

Revolver

by on Aug.11, 2010, under Comics

Here’s how I imagine what Matt Kindt (author of 3 Story, among other books) did in writing Revolver. At least, when I’ve ended up with results similar, this is how I’ve gotten there.

He had a great concept. A series of terrorist attacks shakes America, with conventional, biological, and radiological bombs exploding in multiple cities at nearly the same time. Fleeing the newspaper offices where he works, Sam ends up in a car with Jan, his boss. He kills a man, the world is in flames.

And then he wakes up to his ordinary life with his girlfriend Maria, who wants to go shopping for a new table set. Jan treats him just as contemptuously as ever. He can’t figure out what’s happened to him until the clock hits 11:11 and he finds himself back in Armageddon.

So there’s the concept: every day, the main character switches back and forth from world to world, on the run with Jan in one, at home with Maria in the other. He begins to prefer the crisis world to the ordinary one, because there he feels like he’s doing something important every day.

I had a few geek-level sci-fi issues with this setup. Like, it established that his body isn’t the same between the two worlds. Injuries sustained in one don’t carry over to the other. So what happens to him in one world while he’s conscious in the other? Does he go limp? No one around comments on it if he does. Does his body keep performing tasks without his being aware of it? He never remarks on things being different from the way he left them so that too seems unlikely, and anyway it would raise more unanswered questions about the consciousness in charge when “he” is absent. Or does he somehow experience simultaneous events in alternating fashion?

Whatever. It’s basically a solid conceit.

Then Kindt had to find a plot to fill out the concept, give it the shape of a story. So he kept writing until he found one that fit well enough, retconned the beginning, and wrapped up the end. At least, as I say, that’s how I imagine it happened, because that’s how I’ve done it myself.

You end up with an antagonist introduced only midway through the book and an explanation for what’s going on that doesn’t fully track. (For example [SPOILER ALERT], the villain confesses to Sam that he’s caused all the chaos in the one world by exploiting knowledge gleaned in the other. That doesn’t make any sense. Wouldn’t the hard part of building a biological or radiological bomb no matter where you got the blueprint? And how is it easier to gain access to deadly secrets in one world rather than the other before the bombs go off?)

Oh well. A solid premise an an 80% satisfying resolution still puts Matt Kindt ahead of nine of ten other comic book authors out there, and makes the book worth buying.

Preview below the fold.

(continue reading…)

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