Sirk TV Comic Review: Dark Horse Advance Previews [11-7-12]
The tendency of originality oddly enough tends to follow well-known tropes but applies them in distinctive ways to a modern setting which is apparent in the Dark Horse advance previews for 11/7/12. All stories have been told before but the breathe of knowledge allows them to function in different ways, especially with ideas such as “Colder” using ideas of lore. “47 Ronin” takes from history and “Criminal Macabre” uses the ideas of noir all within a structure of idealized backtracking. BEWARE: Spoilers Ahead!
47 Ronin: The Tale Of Royal Retainers – Book 1 The legend of the 47 Ronin shows the grand perseverance needed for samurais in peacetime. The problems integrate that these soldiers need to be a shining examples of mirth and prowess when there is not a war to be fought. But, as with all elements, honor versus the notion of greed takes a very specific proportion in how society is run. Lord Asano, who is the cornerstone of this issue,makes his way to the higher court to entertain the visiting Emperor. Little known to him, Lord Tokugawa, the head of the visiting house, finds his lack of gifts (or in a better word: bribery) to be insulting and proceeds to cut him off at every point making it impossible for him to gain any acceptance. Finally during a large meeting of the great houses, Tokugawa insults him outright to which Asano takes to task. He draws his sword which is forbidden in the temple. Discipline ensues as an aide is sent to inform Asano’s house of the transgression. The narrative of the issue uses flashback to frame the story though the heavy accuracy facts makes it harder at times to follow the interrelations. The art itself sets skewed angles aside for a more blocky and rounded view of texture.
Criminal Macabre: They Fight By Night The interment of a PI in Los Angeles is like looking for an actor in Hollywood. The truth behind what they are after all the lies in the degree of money plays to the kind of thumb they have been placed under. Cal, the detective here of note here, has become a ghoul despite his own best efforts and now because of a long standing (and growing debt), he is brought on to solve the assassination of a stumping city council candidate whose head was sliced off in rather quick fashion by a female werewolf. Mo’Lock, Cal’s handler of sorts, pushes him to solve the case going so far as to bring the local vampire gang into the mix. Cal isn’t their biggest fan (because of an earlier and famous run in) and ramshackles them eventually putting a bullet through their leader’s head. Teaming up with a human cop: Whitley, they track down the female werewolf who happens to be the PR manager for the encroaching councilman. The werewolves attack Cal’s house, despite his want and need to keep it intact. The wolves reveal themselves upon their death in the form of the councilman candidate and the police captain. Assimilation, as is necessary, has become all too prevalent with the werewolves upsetting the balance. The sliding visuals, with the characters cracked and jarring makes the world all too decrepit in a wonderfully odorous way with the constant darkness on the stage of twilight setting the sights of the story.
Colder #1 Entities living on another planes of existence usually tend to function as metaphors or, as they see it, gods with a distinct sense of self preservation and assurance. Here, in the case of Jack Nimble, he is mostly a invisible version of Ratso Rizzo feeding on those around him before the life is taken from him. The story begins in earnest with an asylum in 1911 in Massachusetts burning to the ground as the inmates see different elements of salvation in their mind. The use of a “fire and ice” motif works quite exceptionally before cutting to present day. The “hunger”, as Nimble calls it, draws him to the wants and needs of passersby. He currently exists himself in New Orleans where the line between sin and religiosity is only a drink away. His powers come from draining the life force from lost souls which takes the forms of drunks or prisoners looking for a way out. The new ideal in his life forms with a nurse named Reece who is mugged and punched before returning to Declan, an invalid who doesn’t speak or interact. Declan’s body temperature is 47 degrees having interacted with Nimble earlier in his life. The blending of color moods and temperatures with the art gives the issue a vibrancy that makes it neither stale or earthy yet gives feelings of warmth and decadence especially in the eyes of Nimble indicating an inherent darkness.
Willow: Wonderland – Part I In a world lost without magic, light takes on a dimmer view where no sun or moon gives life yet one can see the way. Willow, having survived her time with Buffy, has traveled to the other side (which in this case is “Wonderland”) searching for the magic that has been taken away from her Earth. Willow, as a character has always been pure of heart in finding a way to see the best in problems. She, in essence, in this new world, has become her own Alice though the new creatures she deals with don’t see eye-to-eye with her. Marrak, a former Earther who came over to indulge in magic but could never return, offers to help her on her quest. After she finds an oasis of sorts that revisits her darker memories, a talking caterpillar of lore attacks her notion of magic but what creates it eludes her. In a land desolate and eerie, the great element of Willow is her warmth, especially her eyes, while the paradoxical nature of certain creatures from the “Hellboy”-like Marrak to the worms with game show teeth that seem to jeer at our heroes give this “Wonderland” a definite sense of the abstract.
Posted on November 8, 2012, in Other Reviews and tagged 47 Ronin, Colder, Comic Review, Criminal Macabre, Dark Horse Comics, Sirk TV, The Tale Of Royal Retainers, tim wassberg, Willow: Wonderland. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.