Friday, March 11, 2005

COMICS: Quick Comic reviews

Blood of the Demon #1

The Demon is one of those DC Universe mainstays who works well as a supporting character (particularly back in Alan Moore's "Swamp Thing") but is a hard sell on his own. This latest series try is driven by plotter and artist John Byrne, and features my old small press buddy Will Pfeifer on dialogue. It's a decent start for this potentially fascinating character, an immortal man, Jason Blood, who has been bonded with a demon since the age of Merlin. The demon Etrigan and Blood share a "Jekyll and Hyde" type relationship, although Blood is hardly an angel himself. Anyway, this first issue is pretty solid as these go, with some of Byrne's strongest art in a long time (he's well inked by a fellow who only goes by the name "Nekros" - a demon himself?!?), and Pfeifer's sharp dialogue helping dim the hokey edge Byrne's solo work has had lately. Unusually graphic and bloody for a mainstream DC comic, with head-choppings, torture and so forth, but that intensity works well for the story. The plot is basic - Blood is captured by mysterious foes, escapes, and returns to get revenge — and I'm not quite sure where it's all going. Like most first issues lately, it's not self-contained -- but it's got me interested enough to return for #2, which I never thought I'd say about a "Demon" solo comic. Grade: B

Ultimate Fantastic Four #16
The Negative Zone storyline, part four, things finally pick up after a rather excessively drawn-out first three chapters. The Ultimate FF meet the new version of old FF foe Annihilus, and he's a suitably creepy alien overlord. I rather like Warren Ellis' new take on Annihilus, who has always been a villain that looked cool but didn't have much more in the way of a personality than "die puny humans." This Annihilus is genuinely freaky and more crafty, with artist Andy Kubert giving him a slight redesign that plays up his alien nature. Still, overall this storyline feels unnecessarily padded, although this is the strongest chapter so far, and it promises to pick up for the final two. I'm still considering dropping this book after Ellis' writing ends with #18, though - so far, the "Ultimate" Fantastic Four don't come close to the depth of the original articles. (Minus a point for that goofy expression by the Thing on the last page - meant to be horrified, it just looks plain silly.) Grade: B-

No comments:

Post a Comment