Goldfish

David “Goldfish” Gold is a conman trying to recover his ten-year old son from his former lover and now underworld queenpin, Laura. It’s smalltime grifter versus big time crime boss in a nobody wins confrontation. Told in a noir pastiche, with art and story by Brian Michael Bendis, Goldfish’s quest is a bit jumbled and the characters’ motivations are not always clear. That’s fine, I suppose, for a gang of criminals, but it does make the story a bit hard to follow at times. Bendis’ art only adds to the confusion. While it is often moody and haunting with its stark black and white, it is just as often jumbled and unclear: characters are sometimes hard to distinguish from one another, and certain action sequences are difficult to decipher. Add to these Bendis’ “famous” realistic dialogue, and I found Goldfish tedious, and I was unmotivated to work through it. Only the final chapter really appealed to me. Told by Izzy, Goldfish’s former partner in crime, we see Gold’s story from a different perspective, one in which Gold’s actions have consequences far beyond his singular concern. This is the “gold” in the story, adding weight and pathos to otherwise unsympathetic characters. Had Bends structured his story from Izzy’s point of view from the beginning (rather than just tacking it onto the end), I think Goldfish would have been more interesting and powerful.