Area 10

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You should be aware, if you were wondering like me, that the title to this book has nothing to do with Area 51 and aliens.

Instead, this Vertigo Crime novel’s title, Area 10,  refers to an area of the brain often the target for trepanning.  On a sliding scale of unreality, this crime story is not as totally unreal as John Constantine going to hell in Dark Entries nor as completely mundane as Filthy Rich by Brian Azzarelo.  It is somewhere in the middle, as is, unfortunately, the quality of the story; not too bad, not great.

The author is Christos N. Gage who has been working in comics for a few years now, writing for both of the big two on various series. This appears to be his first foray into a non-cape story.  The black and white art is by Chris Samnee, who has also been around for a few years drawing for most of the major comic book companies (his first Dark Horse work will be out this fall, a story about Serenity’s preacher, Book).

I will not lie:  I do like having a longer story that I can read in one sitting.  For the most part, I have enjoyed all of the Vertigo Crime books.  This one is no different; “For the most part,” as I said.

The lack of a main character that I could sympathize with is, for me, the story’s biggest problem.  Detective Adam Kamen is in an interesting enough predicament (trepanning, anyone?), but I could not care about his life and its prior troubles at all.  Perhaps that is part of the difficulty in creating a tough guy character who hides his feelings–there is nothing for the reader to identify with.  (I will not give away the trepanning plot, just in case you have an hour you would like to kill with this book.)

Of course, my biggest issue with Area 10 in general is buying a “for the most part” story with 184 smaller black and white pages at $19.99.

Bottom Line:  $12.50/$19.99

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