Panel #5: Myth
I don’t think a scanner can adequately convey how great that cover is. That rip you see is an actual rip in the cover, which leads me to believe that these were either a huge pain in the ass to produce or they’ve found some way to easily tear the covers of all the copies of this issue. Either way kudos, and we’re also treated to different interpretations of the cover inside by all the artists. This issue deals with something I spent a fair amount of time with in the ancient days when I was in school: mythology. Craig Bogart sets the bar pretty high with the first story, a whodunnit it involving Jesus, Hercules and Odin all as suspects as to who murdered a very annoying bird. Next up is The Sun-Mother’s Home by Dara Naraghi & Andy Bennett, detailing a journey by a group of people who have been cast out of their home and the legends they tell along the way about the origin of the earth. Tony Goins follows with a story called America, abiout our future wars, what we have to do to get out of them and how we’re doomed to repeat the same stupid mistakes we’ve been making for years. Glenn Brewer’s story about the origin of the seahorse is gorgeous, although a few of the finer points might have been lost on me (it was one of them there silent stories, all kinds of room for interpretation). Matt Kish has the visual highlight of the book next with what is essentially a series of giant trading cards with various characters from his own Spudd 64 mythology. Tom Williams is then kind enough to wrap thiings up with a story about a guessing game among the gods. Oh, and in case you can’t tell by the scan, this issue is huge, magazine-sized. All in all, once again they’ve put together a solid anthology on another interesting topic.
Askari Hodari #3
Another one of the many completely random things I picked up at SPACE. This one is about a man (or maybe a team of men? Anyway, this one only dealt with one man) who are like a local watch, but with ninja powers and better body armor than anyone has ever seen. If that sounds a bit silly, well, it depends on how it’s done, doesn’t it? You have to either take something like this ultra-seriously, or you have to poke fun at it while you’re doing it. Taking it ultra-seriously only works if there isn’t anything about it that you could make fun of, and that’s not true of much of anything in my world. Still, this is done pretty well for what it is, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see this guy become a pretty major name in gritty/realistic comics in the next few years. That being said, there’s nothing in here that’s too incredibly graphic, which is a nice change of pace. Way too many of these books try to sell you with different body parts being cut up in all kinds of ways, and Glenn seems to be going for story first and shock value second. Some of the dialogue is kind of dopey and I have no idea how the main character can kill so many people without them fighting back hardly at all, but I didn’t get the first two issues. I’m sure it was either explained there or it’ll be explained at some point in the future. All in all, not a great book but a fun read, worth a look if you’re in an action comics kind of mood. Check out his website for ordering info or just to find out more about the comic. I just went there to see if the link worked and found out all kinds of stuff about the comic that was only hinted at in the issue I read.
Askari Hodari #2
OK, this one doesn’t do much to explain things that I wasn’t clear on (I’m doing this review on 4/23/03, about a year after I got #3), but it does make me like the series a bit more. It’s mostly action, sure, but at least it’s a fun book. I still barely have any idea of what’s going on in the big picture (guess I need to get the first issue from him for that), but it looks good. The only real thing I can complain about is that I don’t like typed lettering. Just seems to me that if you’re willing to spend a couple of days or longer on a page you could spend a few hours to make the lettering look good, and I have terrible handwriting. Still, word at SPACE was that Glenn got some kind of movie deal, so he might be done with comics anyway. It’s worth checking out for the mayhem value involved, although if you don’t like action books it’s probably not for you. Contact info is down yonder…