I'll See You In My Dreams... AND IN MY NEW REVIEW LOL!
LAST WEEK'S REVIEWS!!
Robocop: Killing Machine, Astro City Special, The Goon #8, Ex Machina #3, and Terra Obscura Vol. 2 #1 (of 6) (A new comics day bonanza!)
Steve Ditko’s 32 Page Package #5 (lots of one-page Ditko design demonstrations)
*Roarin’ Rick Veitch, he of the long-running “Rare Bit Fiends” dream-based comic series, has started a regular feature on the Comicon.com message boards in which he’ll post dream comics, and everyone is invited to comment or contribute their own dream-inspired art and prose. It’s called “Little Omens”, and you can check it out here, if for no other reason than to see how ridiculous my subconscious is, since I contributed a recent dream of my own. And if you really like it (Rick‘s work, that is, not my dreams), you can check out the first two trade collections of “Rare Bit Fiends”, “Rabid Eye” and “Pocket Universe”, and anticipate the October release of the third collection “Crypto Zoo”.
I Am Legion Vol.1 - The Dancing Faun by Fabien Nury and John Cassaday
Cassaday’s on something of a hot streak, providing art for both the popular “Astonishing X-Man” and the intermittently-released but much-loved “Planetary”. This is this third ongoing project, a series of prestige-format books from Humanoids/DC. The script is by French writer Fabien Nury, as translated by Justin Kelly.
The book’s 54 story pages comprise an introduction to the story. There are two supernatural-type beings, ‘Strigoi‘, running around in 1942, as WWII rumbles along. The blood of whichever host body the being is occupying, when consumed by another person or animal, allows the being to control the person/animal as sort of a puppet master. Occasionally, a full transfusion can afford the being a permanent new home. One of these demonic/vampiric things (and there’s even an amusing discussion between two characters as to whether Strigoi translates to ’demon’ or ’vampire’) is calling itself Legion (a biblical demonic reference) and has shacked up with the Nazis, and there’s all the expected plans for creating an invincible army of puppet-prisoners.
But really the focus of this volume seem to be talk. Lots of discussion of subterfuge, lots of investigation of deaths, lots of potential double-crosses on both sides of the struggle. There’s a noble, haunted intelligence officer who’s co-worker has an unrequited crush on him but he’s too caught up in work. There’s corruption going right to the top of British Intelligence. There’s even a secret agent behind enemy lines on a vital mission. His code name is Trinity, which indicates that subtlety is perhaps not among Mr. Nury’s priority tools on the project.
I'll be fair. In between bouts of chat the second beastie occasionally kills someone in blood-slurping fashion, people escape from danger, and there’s a big action demonstration scene at the end where Legion demonstrates her powers for the Nazi higher-ups, so it's not all characters sitting around. I did appreciate the familiarity Mr. Nury seems to have with period intelligence procedures. But the characters are quite familiar, and the scenario isn’t very interesting just yet.
Cassaday’s art is good as ever, detailed and realistic. He hits all of the necessary period beats (the uniforms, weapons, décor; all feel authentic) and the action proceeds well. The nitty-gritty approach of Nury’s script fits well with Cassaday’s style, and Laura Martin’s colors are used to good effect, with particularly violent scenes sometimes washed out in pure red, always a safe choice. The book also contains some pieces of uncolored Cassaday art and character sketches as bonuses.
A fair start, if predictable and a little draggy.