Friday, August 19, 2005

Antidote for Decompression - Klarion the Witchboy #3

Don't like decompression?

Then do I have the book for YOU!!

Klarion the Witchboy, the book that has Grant Morrison writing the equivalent of those And 1 streetball tournaments - he fakes one way, goes the other, and totally mixes things up right before he dunks on you.

Great stuff.

#1, if you recall, was a slower, character-driven issue, with a lot of detailed characterizations of all the folks in the comic rather than a "big idea" comic like many other Grant Morrison comics.

#2 was more of a "Big Idea" issue, while #3 this week was a total roller coaster ride (with an emphasis on "Big Idea" storytelling).

Klarion gets caught up in a gang of young thieves who, upon turning 16, graduate to a much COOLER gang.

Morrison uses this gang to throw in many allusions to DC characters of the past, but also, to pop culture icons of the past. The whole thing, really, has a Dead End Boys feel to it.

Very nice job by Frazier Irving in making it LOOK that way, too.

A nice cross between the Dead End Boys and the Artful Dodger's guys, I thought.

Melmuth, by the way, is an AWEsome bad guy. He has that charisma about him that many people WANT to see in new villains, but cannot seem to get (although I think Joe Casey did a good job capturing that same charisma with the villains in Godland), in that even though you KNOW that they are evil, you cannot help but feel interested in them, and you can easily see how someone like Klarion can be swayed so easily by him.

Menawhile, as plots from the other Seven Soldiers titles tie in, we see that the government has an interest in Roanoke...but so does Melmuth!!!

The side plot of the leader of the young gang, Billy Beezer, is extremely engaging. Billy is a pathetic character, but Morrison still gets us to feel for him when he gets his comeuppance...we don't wish such a fate on ANYone...even the elders of Roanoke.

Morrison also manages to toss in a lot of little jokes, especially in how Klarion reacts to the modern world.

Finally, when Melmuth's evil plan is afoot, Klarion just cannot be bothered to care right away. So when Teekl convinces is very well told scene.

Probably the coolest part about Klarion is that it is really TWO comics.

One, you can read and get a whole lot of action-packed enjoyment with a bunch of jokes and nice Frazier Irving art tossed in.

But then, there is also a SECOND, when you REread the comic, and see all the little details you missed the first time.

So that is why Klarion the Witchboy #3, in particular, is a great antidote for decompression.

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Blogger John Lombard said...

Thank you Brian!

8/19/2005 06:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Spencer said...

Menawhile, as plots from the other Seven Soldiers titles tie in

Wait, wait, wait.....wait a minute. Ties IN?! As in, they are related in some kind of way? This goes against everything I have learned about S7!

8/19/2005 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Of course the series ties in. That was the whole point. While each series can stand alone, reading them all gives you a completely different and rewarding story experience.

Anyway, I didn't read this post because I have not yet got the issue and didn't want to be spoiled; but I'm sure whatever you said was awesome.

8/19/2005 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

The whole Seven Soldiers line has been a great surprise and a joy to read. Klarion and The Manhattan Guardian are particularly frabjabulous.

Last weekend I collected the issues put out thus far and re-read 'em, to look for links. Yep, there are a few.

On another blog (I think it was "I am not the Beastmaster,") I ran across a snazzy Morrison-esque idea about the line. Key to a few of the series has been the number six and, in particular, a die. I think somewheres it even mentions how the die shows the randomness of the universe or some such crap.

A die gives you six possible outcomes. But there's a seventh option: ignore the die and choose for yourself. (Or some other "break the rules of the die" portentious nonsense.)

Gads, it's been fun to go to the comic shop, see a couple issues of these books in my stack, and think "wee-haw! Good readin' tonight!"

Yes, I say "wee-haw" in my head.

8/19/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

" But there's a seventh option: ignore the die and choose for yourself."

That is so amazingly over the top that I love it!!!

8/19/2005 06:24:00 PM  
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