Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Blade of the Immortal; Snake Woman; Superman Confidential

Blade of the Immortal # 120
Hiroaki Samura

I actually started reading Blade of the Immortal in high school, that's how long this book has been going. Even then I was two manga collections behind. But I loved the story then, and I think it's still good now. It's weird to jump back into it now though. In case you're wondering, by the way, Blade of the Immortal is about an immortal Samurai who must kill 1,000 evil souls in order to finally die. The story is actually more about this young girl Rin, and her quest for vengence against a samurai clan called the itto-ryu.

Anyways, it's all done by one man. The art is at times breathtaking. The characters are all fully fleshed out three dimensional characters, and just on the whole it's a very classy tale. It is exceptionally violent however. But it balances that out with many moments of stillness and subtlety. When it is finally done, it would not be at all suprising for it to take it's place next to Lone Wolf and Cub as one of the all-time great mangas.

I don't know if I'd reccomend just jumping right in right now though. This is the 3rd part of a 4 part arc, and the book is extremely jargon heavy, and it can be very hard to follow what is being talked about, and whom. There is a handy glossary in the back, but more often than not I chose to be confused than enlightened with it.
Blade of the Immortal is an extremely quality book. If you like Samurai and really good interesting diverse characters, this is a good book to read. But I would definitely try and catch up first.

Snake Woman #6
Zeb Wells-Dean Hyrapiet

I didn't pick these two books to review together intentionally. I swear. It just happens to be a coincidence that Snake Woman is a book about a god that has to kill the reincarnarated souls of sixty-eight british explorers who desecrated an ancient temple in the 18th century. If she fails to kill all sixty-eight within a single lifetime all are reborn again and she has to start over.

Very interesting premise, and the art while it probably would be more interesting stylized diffrently is good enough. The dialouge is okay. The characterizations...meh.

It's really not a wholey remarkable book. There's nothing wrong with it, and if the premise interests you, you might be interested in reading it. I mean, I can't lie, I'm sort of interested in picking this up again, but not thaaat strongly. It's a good mid level book if you're looking to get something that's not Marvel or DC, and not centered around a white male aryan-type character, or just a Zeb Wells fan.
Superman Confidential #3
Darwyn Cooke-Tim Sale
Good lord there's a lot of good Superman books out there these days. And I'm not even reading The Johns-Donner Superman. Superman Confidential combines the wonderful talents of Tim Sale and Darwyn Cook to tell the story of the first time Superman encountered Kryptonite.
The art for this book is wonderful, and you could really read the book without the words. This is two masterful visual storytellers busting out the fat yarns. Unlike Batman Confidential, both the art and the writing are up to snuff, and if you're looking for a third Superman book the chuck on your shelves this is it.

That said, if you're wondering whether to replace All-star Superman with this, don't. It's a good story, but this is not New Frontier or Dark Knight Returns for either of these creators. It's a nice collaboration, and a good to very good book, but it's really just icing ontop of your superman cake.

With all of this talent working on Batman and Superman, I can only question why it is Wonder Woman, the supposed other part of the big three, hasn't got half the talent working on even one of her books, none of which can bother to come out on time.
If it sounds like I'm complaining...I am.

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