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Mitchell, Brian John – Marked #2


Marked #2 (with art by Jeremy Johnson)

It may have finally happened: Brian may have finally spread himself too thin with the pile of minis he’s putting out on a constant basis.  I thought this issue was a little too pat, wrapped up a little too neatly.  Things start off with a recap of the last issue (Brian has always gotten this right), then our hero Mark the former demon hunter (called out of retirement in the last issue) wakes up after taking a beating from his own inner demon, which he had to unleash to defeat the other demons.  The issue is a mad dash from there, with the demon killing Mark’s girlfriend in his apartment, Mark getting a train ticket to get out of town (as he understands completely that “my inner demon came to life and killed my girlfriend” wouldn’t fly with the cops), and the demon confronting Mark at the train station.  I’m still having trouble putting my finger on exactly what it was that felt… less in this issue than in the rest of Brian’s work.  The ending was very neat, sure, especially when you consider how much trouble Mark knew it would be to release his demon and the relative ease with which their fight went (not to give anything away or anything, even though I kind of just did.  Dammit).   With his consistent record of quality he’s earned the benefit of the doubt from me, so I’m guessing this inner demon thing will get explained more fully in future issues, or maybe he’ll just ditch this series entirely and focus on the half dozen other series he writes.  Still, there’s some great artwork by Jeremy on these tiny pages, and the story all by itself was engaging.  There was just something a little bit lacking.  Yes, I know that as a reviewer I’m supposed to be able to pinpoint exactly what that is.  Maybe Brian’s desire to have all the issues be at least mildly self-contained, which caused the fight to wrap up too quickly?  That’s a noble goal, to keep everything satisfying if a person only buys one issue.  Ack, I give up.  There’s also the possibility that something in my brain wasn’t firing properly today; keep in mind that’s always a possibility with these reviews.  $1

Mitchell, Brian John – Marked #1 (with Jeremy Johnson)



Marked #1 (with art by Jeremy Johnson)

Hey, why not one more series?  He already has 4 going strong.  If you make comics and this guy doesn’t make you think that maybe you should be a little more productive, I don’t know what would do it.  Productive and consistently entertaining, all while using different artists for different projects, is impressive no matter how you look at it.  In this issue an old monster fighter comes out of retirement after his girlfriend’s sister is brutally murdered at a local park.  No, I’m not sure what being a monster fighter entails either, but I’ll bet we learn that over the course of the series.  Anyway, he manages to lure the murderers out of hiding by pretending to be a drunk (i.e. dousing himself with booze), but the fight doesn’t go well and he’s forced to take a desperate and drastic action.  I get the fact that I’ve been praising all these books for months now, so this probably won’t have much impact, but this comic sings.  The cadence of the dialogue, the fight scene (even with it being all scrunched up in this tiny comic, it didn’t suffer a bit), and that ending were all pitch perfect.  These comics are all ridiculously affordable, and you’d have a hard time going wrong trying any of them.  Today this has the potential to be my favorite of the bunch, but talk to me tomorrow and I’ll go with a different series.  That speaks to some serious range, and if he’s able to do another five series at this high level I say go for it.  $1