Uncharacteristic Muddles

Sometimes even the best comics end up with some not-so-great issues…

B.P.R.D.: King of Fear #3

Abe Sapien, Andrew Devon, and the soldiers they were leading have been captured by a bunch of sub-terrans, while Liz Sherman finds herself inside a real-life apocalyptic nightmare that she thought was only a mental illusion produced by Memnan Saa. Abe is surprised to learn that, um, some skull-faced, black-fire-burning guy whose name completely escapes me, is working with the sub-terrans. The leader of the sub-terrans is looking forward to subjugating everyone and being installed as the king of the world, but the skull-faced guy (Maybe this is the “King of Fear”? I really don’t know.) disrespects him and eventually kills him when the leader attacks one of the B.P.R.D. soldiers. He’s not really on the B.P.R.D.’s side — he still wants to bring about the end of the world — but he wants to do it on behalf of a surprising master…

Verdict: I have to give it a thumbs-down. I’m having too much trouble keeping track of the players. I know I read the comic that featured skull-faced guy, but that must’ve been several years ago, and I don’t remember what his name was or what he was up to. And as long as this saga has been going on, we really would’ve benefitted from some reminders of who all the bad guys are, in addition to the good guys. It’s just too hard to enjoy the story when you don’t even know who all the characters are.

The Unwritten #11

A fictional version of Joseph Goebbels living inside an old novel/movie called “Jud Süss” has just shot Tom Taylor. He gets his hands on Tom’s map and the magic doorknob, but luckily, before he can kill Savoy, Lizzie Hexam shows up and beats Goebbels to death with a movie projector. And even more luckily, Tom isn’t dead — Goebbels’ fictional bullets didn’t have enough weight to them to kill him. But he’s now wandering around inside “Jud Süss” — and the story of “Jud Süss” has been driven mad. Ya see, there was a novel called “Jud Süss” in the 1920s that was about a deeply flawed but ultimately heroic Jew — and the Nazis took “Jud Süss” and turned it into an anti-Semitic propaganda movie. In the world of fiction, “Jud Süss” can’t figure out if it’s a pro-Jewish story or an anti-Jewish story, and that confusion and madness has turned it into something called a canker, a monstrous vortex of terror. Is there any way Tom can survive the insane canker?

Verdict: Thumbs down. I loved the backstory about “Jud Süss” (Mike Carey and Peter Gross include a short essay about the novel, the movie, and the power of propaganda) but the comic surrounding it just wasn’t up to snuff. Tom survives the shooting by a fluke, he stops the canker by fluke, and everyone gets back home by fluke. Lucky flukes don’t make for compelling drama.

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  1. swampy Said,

    March 14, 2010 @ 10:56 pm

    it was a fluke in Tom’s eyes, but was it really? maybe they were supposed to be where they ended up being….just look at the bus behind them…