Saturday, September 12, 2009

Models Inc. #1

Paul Tobin & Vicenc Villagrasa
"Borrowing" the name of an ill-fated television series (a spin-off of Melrose Place, at that), Models Inc. launches at Marvel, a mini-series that brings together several of the top models in Marvel's universe for a cheeky little Sex & the City gossip-fest that turns into a murder mystery by issue's end. Together on this fashion shoot are Toni Turner, Jill Jerold, Chili Storm, Patsy Walker (Hellcat), and the focus of this debut issue, Millicent Collins aka Millie the Model. Not only does this series "borrow" the name of its book, but also the faux-magazine covers that were the trademark of The Luna Brothers' breakthrough series Ultra: Seven Days. And the rest of the issue kind of goes with that theme, showing nary an ounce of originality by the chapter's conclusion. Even the dialogue, which was heavy in this story with nothing else really for the models to do, was mediocre. Trying to make things a little edgy, the creators threw in a lesbian model (oooh, scandalous) and a grab-happy security guard. I don't know what Marvel was thinking publishing this. Trying to gain interest from female readers is one thing: putting out a product that would make them blush at the stereotypes is another. To make matters even worse, there's an utterly embarrassing back-up story featuring Tim Gunn (by Marc Sumerak and Jorge Molina), using as many catch-phrases from the pop culture icon as possible before throwing him in an Iron Man suit to give him a reason to be there. And it's a bad drawing of Tim Gunn at that. The only thing I liked about this part of the book (or the book in general, really) is incorporating Wasp's fashion history into the story via a Janet Van Dyne Memorial Wing of the New York Fashion Museum. That was a nice little touch. Otherwise, this was a pretty lame attempt to garner media attention, with superhero cameos for the sake of tying this book loosely to a universe that's infinitely more interesting than this piece of half-hearted "art." The TV series was better, and that's saying something.

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