Friday, November 16

Dynamite Comics – Dec 2012

Reviews, commentary, general reactions, and random notes on the Dynamite Entertainment comics that were released during October that I received at the beginning of November. Caution: Spoilers ahead.

Cover C (25%) by John Cassaday
The Shadow #6 [ link to previous issue ]
The Fire of Creation: Conclusion”

Everything that has happened is part of the Shadow's plan – of course. Lamont Cranston has been acting as an agent of US military intelligence to successfully get the vital weapons-grade mineral Uranium 235 out of China and into US hands. I misread the dumb-ass Finnegan as British – he's actually American, but just as dumb-ass. He's serving a purpose as well, however, providing cover and a diversion for Cranston. The plan, of course, meets with success, with plenty of Japanese blood being spilled along the way. The main Japanese villain Kondo gets away, but the epilogue shows him being caught unawares in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.

I'm sure there are a lot of Shadow fans who are really enjoying this series, and it has been good enough. But it's not really for me. It's obviously based more on the radio version of the character, with plenty of tweaks even from that, I'm sure, but even though I've not read all that many of the pulp novels, those are my Shadow. I won't be continuing with this series from here on out.

Cover B (50%) by Paul Renaud
Lord of the Jungle #8 [ link to previous issue ]
Just Take It: The Concrete Jungle 2 of 2”

The villainous Canler, having been humiliated by Tarzan, kidnaps Jane and her father to lure him into a trap. The confrontation goes about as you would imagine it would. In the end, the only reason Tarzan does not kill him is because he is trying to be “civilized,” for the sake of Jane, so he leaves him strung up for the police to find. He lives, I'm sure to return to Dynamite's adaptation/expansion of the original Burroughs novels at some time in the future. He's basically a blank slate as Burroughs never did anything with the character after his minor role in the first novel.

As for Jane and Tarzan, this is of course not enough to bring them back together – that would be too radical a departure from the books, and we're not to that point in the saga yet. Jane is, however, upset because her fiancé Cecil Clayton has been acting differently since they were in Wisconsin. In a flashback, we see why – he found and read the discarded telegram to Tarzan from d'Arnot, revealing that Tarzan is indeed his own cousin and the true Greystoke heir.

This was probably my least favorite of all the Dynamite issues thus far. I found the art noticeably lower in quality. The story is so-so, mainly redeemed by the intriguing fact that it is the longest (albeit non-canonical) look at Tarzan's first time away from the jungle, during the period between the end of the first book and the beginning of the second.

Cover A (50%) by Paul Renaud
Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #17 [ link to previous issue ]
[“Vampire Men of Saturn, Part 1 of 3”]

We find that Dejah Thoris has been taken prisoner by the mysterious air ship she spied upon emerging from the cave in the frozen north of Barsoom – and has been transported all the way to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, or rather Vano, the largest moon of Strio, as her captor calls it, or rather Xasoom as the Barsoomians call the ringed planet. She is in the hands of one of the Vathek, a race of vampires intent on conquering Mars. With the help of a fellow prisoner – one of the Palidors, a race kept by the Vathek as cattle, sources of blood – she escapes on a flying mount, but a lucky shot by their pursuers leaves her plunging toward the ground from a height that even her increased relative strength imparted by the relative size of Barsoom and Vano will not save her from.

Frankly, this story is doing little more for me than the “Boora Witch” story arc. I find the art strikingly bad, although the story on my second reading turns out not to be as bad as I found it at first. At least there is a pseudo-scientific reason for the Vatheks' vampirism rather than being supernatural.

Cover A (50%) by Paul Renaud
Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #18
[“Vampire Men of Saturn, Part 2 of 3”]

Opening in mid-fall, we find that Dejah Thoris has not only super-strength because of the lighter gravity of Titan as compared to Mars, but she can all but fly like Superman! Actually, “That wasn't flying! It was falling with style!”
In any case, Dejah Thoris and her new pal Svero reach his people, and she enters into an alliance with them to carry out a plan that will rid not just Titan but also Saturn of the Vathek entirely. Wholesale genocide! You go, girl! Then victory becomes crucial when it transpires that the Vathek are even now carrying through with their invasion of Barsoom and have deployed a device that will destroy the Atmosphere Factory. Dejah Thoris attacks the control tower for the device – but is then betrayed by Svero himself!

Ditto comment from issue #17.

Cheers!, and Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment