PanThe Comics JournalWith Matt Hollingsworth\'s colors draping luminous fuzz over every surface, this comic looks better than anything else that\'s come from its publisher in awhile ... strains of Rafael Grampa grit and Tsutomo Nihei sinew float closer to the surface, and bits of visual shorthand imported from Alejandro Jodorowsky\'s Incal universe are welcome surprises ... Bertram is less solid with what I consider to be Quitely\'s most important skill: establishing shots. He\'s not far off the mark - his wide shots are frequently impressive, well composed with groupings of characters\' proximity to one another clearly displayed. But too frequently, the set-ups that these panels provide are left hanging, with turns into the visual illiteracy of action movies and superhero comics, respectively: smash cuts between shots of individual characters, their forms vivisected by the borders of extremely short, wide rectangular frames. This tendency, combined with a too-frequent penchant for dousing scenes in lightly stippled banks of vapor, leaves Bertram\'s design for his comic\'s world with a grade of Incomplete. What you can see is intriguing, but the book\'s events sometimes feel more like they\'re taking place against the background paintings in an old movie than within a three-dimensional environment ... This is a shame, because in sequences that stick to a more traditional gridlike layout or give their compositions more room to breathe - mostly the fight scenes - you can see a really good cartoonist shining through the fog. Bertram has a genuine talent for really selling the extreme gore Little Bird ladles out ... The writing, however, seems as obscured by haze as the specifics of the world Bertram draws for it ... is a Good Vs. Evil thing of course, with a repressive theocracy\'s implacable minions intent on hunting down and eradicating a final pocket of superheroic resistance - so every third action sci-fi comic, basically, but without an iota of the personality the good versions of such bring to the table ... I know, I know, it\'s just supposed to be a fun action comic, but there\'s also a truly striking lack of any discernible forward momentum in the way Little Bird unrolls its well-worn story. It all just kinda happens, with no emotional affect pointed to or seemingly even attempted ... Dialogue fails to put flesh on any individual character\'s bones, and the internal monologue/narration in the occasional caption boxes never becomes anything but a distraction ... Worst of all, this comic is intellectually dishonest. Positing Evil as an overwhelming, malevolent force to be heroically defeated is, yes, Part of the Problem.