jueves, 12 de marzo de 2015

Four Comic-books: Eden, Outcast, Starlight and 7th Sword

(Disclaimer: English is my second language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.)

Review Soundtrack: I suggest reading this review while listening to Tubular Bells (Original Theme From The Exorcist) by Mike Oldfield (Spotify, YouTube).  

In this new installment of my short reviews of comic-books I bring you four different graphic novels: Eden, Outcast, Starlight and 7th Sword. As usual, I'll begin with the one I enjoyed the least, leaving the one I recommend the most for the last place. 

Eden, written and illustrated by Bash, has an interesting synopsis involving angels, demons and a village outside our spacetime. However, it is confusing in the extreme, making it almost impossible to know what is happening. After reading this first volume I'd be hard pressed to explain even a little of what is about. I have no idea, really. It might be my own fault, but after reading other reviews I suspect they might be other factors involved. The art is quite good (although it seems a bit rushed or unfinished sometimes) and I think you will enjoy it, especially if you are into manga, but it doesn't begin to make up for the poor plot. 

Starlight, written by Mark Millar with art by Goran Parlov, was also a bit of a disappointment. It is clearly a homage to the pulp science fiction (specifically to heroes such as Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon) and both the plot and the art are adapted to that purpose. The illustrations have a quite adequate vintage feeling and the story is straightforward and a bit naive. And that is the main problem. In trying to imitate a pulp story, it becomes a pulp story, and not a especially remarkable one. It plays the card of nostalgia, but it offers no other redeeming virtue. It is just OK, but I expect much more from Mark Millar. Recommended only to hardcore fans of pulp science fiction.

The plot of 7th Sword is not much more original (a samurai is hired to help a village that is threatened by a crime lord) but the overall result is notably better. The combination of robots and martial arts is a bit implausible, but is really fun to read. The art is very good (although the bodies are too angular, sometimes) with some excellent character designs, as in the case Superfecta Five, and a vivid representation of the fight scenes. This comic, written by John Raffo and illustrated by Nur Iman, is not the best thing I've ever read (not even the best thing I've read in the last week), but is entertaining enough and I recommend it if you want to spend a fun couple of hours without further pretensions.

Finally, Outcast, written by Robert Kirman and illustrated by Paul Azaceta, is a really good, solid horror comic-book. Exorcisms, evil beings, mysteries and bit of gore for a gripping plot that really stands out. The start is a bit slow and slightly confusing, but the story gets better with each issue and at by the end of the book I was completely hooked. My only complain is that not much is revealed in this first volume and it will be hard to wait for a new installment to know what happens next. The art is also very good, with an excellent use of color and some interesting page compositions. Highly recommended.

All in all, skip Eden by all means, get Starlight only if you love the old, pulp adventures in space and give 7th Sword a try if the idea of samurais fighting robots sounds like fun to you. But, above all, don't miss Outcast. It is one of the best comics of 2014 and you should be reading it.

(You can also read this review in Spanish/También puedes leer esta reseña en español)             

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