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Comics: Come Together, Right Now
by Dee. 8/4/2022Greetings, all! Here's another month's review of the comics that interest me, and hopefully you as well. From DC there is DC vs. Vampires: All-Out War, from Marvel, AXE: Eve of Judgment, and from Image Comics Starhenge: The Dragon and the Boar.
DC vs. Vampires: All-Out War (DC Comics): Starring the Justice League, John Constantine and a variety of different heroes and villains, this is a bloody spin-off of the main DC vs. Vampires 12-issue series.
James Tynion IV (Something Is Killing the Children, The Closet, The Nice House on the Lake) and Matthew Rosenberg (4 Kids Walk into a Bank, What's the Furthest Place From Here?) wrote this parallel universe on a planet full of vampires with some very grisly black, white and red art provided by Pasquale Qualano. The original series is in full color, so this is an artistic choice to heighten the drama and violence of the vampires. And man is there drama and blood. I'd put it as similar to Suicide Squad level of wanton violence, so there's a lot of it, but it's not super detailed and gory head explosions the way Walking Dead does.
I liked how the script moved, as it gave some exposition without getting bogged down in it. Some familiarity with Deathstroke, Booster Gold and the gang make the entire comic more interesting, but I don't find it absolutely necessary to read back issues to understand that everyone they know (and love) are most likely vampires.
AXE: Eve of Judgment (Marvel Comics): As the start of a large crossover event between Avengers, X-Men and Eternals, this is a cornucopia of heroes in this first issue. The heroes involved are Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Jean Gray, Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Magneto as well as Thena, Ikaris, Sersi and Druig, our main villain. He is scheming to rid the world of all mutants, and he is willing to do anything to achieve that reality. Since this is an issue with some of the most powerful characters from their respective teams, Druig is really pulling out all the stops.
Kieron Gillen (known for Wicked + Divine, Die, Once and Future, and American Vampire) is the writer of this expansive story, assisted by the art of Pasqual Ferry and Dean White. I like the blue tinted backgrounds and speech bubbles in distinct color schemes. The story itself is more focused on the Eternals at first, as there are a lot of things needed for the setup.
The reading order list for this story arc is pretty large, but I would think that whichever team is more of your interest is going to be in the corresponding issues of X-Men comics, Avengers and spin-off series.
Starhenge: The Dragon and the Boar (Image Comics): Are you prepared for the strangest sentence I get to write all day? In this six issue series, Merlin travels back in time to fight these gruesome robots who are stealing all the magic in the universe. Sounds awesome, of course.
This story starts off with some dynamite artwork in the panels, taking a few pages to silently set the scene and reveal the environment. The narrator is pretty tongue-in-cheek, and the art is super realistic. The background ends up looking like brushstrokes, while other parts are digitally enhanced. What happens is a medley of symbolic and representational art and a story with a fairly convoluted premise.
The authors had a lot to set up in this issue, but it is compelling instead of tedious. The story will be fun to explore in depth, as the mythology and technology are intertwined. The pace is a little slow at the moment, but I'm sure it's going to pick up steam in the next issues, as we get into the action.
Happy reading, and see you next time!