Jason M. Burns (writer), Christopher Provencher (artist), Nick Deschenes (colorist)
Patrick Dalton’s is a man’s Man. In fact, he’s more of a man than you and I will ever be, so we may as well stop trying. If Patrick Dalton and Jose Cuervo’s Most Interesting Man in the World ever threw it down, Dalton would beat him senseless in the first round, drive to his home, bed his wife and drink his tequila just to prove that he can. He’s that damn manly. Business magnate, swingin’ alcoholic, and ruthless hunter of carnal pleasures, we are constantly reminded over the next hundred pages that Patrick Dalton is the ultimate tough guy. I suppose this was to make his unusual curse at the hands of a scorned lover all the more ironic, but it doesn’t quite deliver the irony. Or the entertainment, for that matter. In fact, I’m at a loss to explain why such a clearly talented creative team would produce such a tired, formulaic story.
Do you remember “Just One of the Guys,” that movie from the 80s where the high school girl dressed up like a guy to prove that she was being unfairly treated because of her looks? This comic’s kind of like that. Do you remember “American Psycho,” in which Christian Bale played Patrick Bateman, a wealthy investment banker who narrates his daily schedule as a yuppie by day and serial killer by night? This comic is a lot like that, right down to Bateman’s, er, Dalton’s manscaping scene in the beginning. Burns has clearly done his homework and considered all the right influences, channeling the likes of Bateman, Don Draper, and Tyler Durden into Dalton. However he fails to do anything with the character that makes him more than just another cliché. Dalton could have been an entertaining vehicle to speak about the larger gender issues this comic skates around, and could have even had something insightful to offer on what it means to be a man in today’s society. But instead, Dalton remains an embarrassingly flat character and victim of a script that doesn’t know what it wants to achieve.
Consider the gag that the entire graphic novel is built around. In the beginning of the story, Dalton’s lover explains that the curse will be broken when he truly respects and understands women (which he never does. Even when he’s a woman by night, he still keeps his uber-manly beliefs, and only spends time with Amber because he’s attracted to her). By the end of the story, the curse breaks when Dalton falls in love with Amber, which had nothing to do with the original premise that Burns had laid out. If this was a story about understanding women *or* love, I would have been more tolerant, but Burns tried to achieve both without telling us and failed to do either.
This is a very talented creative team, and if they should produce another comic together I’ll definitely give them another shot, but I can’t find enough about this book in particular that is worth paying for. You don’t need this.