Grant Morrison delivers a story that is twisting, confusing, insane, full of brilliant meta-fictional ide...moreI received a copy from Goodreads First Reads.
Grant Morrison delivers a story that is twisting, confusing, insane, full of brilliant meta-fictional ideas, and absolutely genius. It is, in short, everything you would want from a Grant Morrison comic book. A must own for any fan of Morrison.
Flex is Morrison's farewell to the 'dark ages' of comics. The question "Where have all the heroes gone?" has many meanings. Using veiled references to DC/Vertigo's successes of the 80's and 90's, Morrison explores the definition of reality and ideas while ushering the comic industry into its next era. The Watchmen, Dark Knight, and Crisis references are all hard to miss. It's the subtle references that make this book so special for someone that was weaned on dark age comics.
Frank Quitely's artwork is unsurprisingly beautiful. The new colors in this Deluxe Edition compliment his line work nicely and are not distracting like I found some of the updated Sandman colors to be. This edition also includes the obligatory sketch and design artwork in the back, but it's the B&W original pages that really stand out. This is the first time I've seen his stuff uncolored and will be looking for more. (less)
Scott Snyder seems to be the latest "can't miss" writer in the comics industry and Severed is no exception. Fans of Snyder's period horror American Va...moreScott Snyder seems to be the latest "can't miss" writer in the comics industry and Severed is no exception. Fans of Snyder's period horror American Vampire will find plenty to like here. Snyder and co-author Scott Tuft pen an early 20th century coming-of-age story about an orphaned boy being meticulously stalked by a cannibalistic child killer. Like any good horror, Snyder and Tuft utilize basic human fears to ratchet up the tension one page at a time. By building real characters with depth and emotion, they ratchet up the tension and make the reader really fear for their safety at all the right moments.
What keeps severed from being a 4 or 5 star book, though, is artist Atilla Futaki. A relative newcomer to American comics, Futaki pencils, inks, and colors chapters (issues) 1-3. A new colorist comes on board for 4-7. Futaki does a spectacular job at capturing the look of America in 1916. The different colorist in the second half of the book brings even more life to the scenery and is a welcome addition. Where Futaki stumbles, though, is in characters and action. The young men if the series all look the same, the weary railroad hobos difficult to tell apart, and the old men could all mistaken for one another. When it comes to portraying action sequences or a fast paced scene I often found myself having to re-read pages over and over in order to figure what just happened.
Severed is a fine example of Snyder's current work and what horror comics can be when done right. The problems I had with the art don't take away from that and despite my middle of the road rating, I would recommend it to anyone interested.(less)
Just a couple of minor nitpicks keep JMS's urban fantasy from being a 5 star book.
First, the unexpected shift in art from Ben Templesmith to C.P. Smi...moreJust a couple of minor nitpicks keep JMS's urban fantasy from being a 5 star book.
First, the unexpected shift in art from Ben Templesmith to C.P. Smith after 4 issues is kind of jarring. The story is perfect for Templesmith's style and really feels like it was written for it. Templesmith's quick exit due to personal conflicts is a real disappointment and with just 2 issues to work with in this collection, I never got comfortable with Smith's art.
Secondly, just wait for all 12 issues of the first arc to be collected. This is not a 6 issue arc, nor is it even an act or sub-arc(?). This is a perfect example of the TPB paradigm in effect. We have 6 in the can so collect it. When you get to the end you'll see what I mean. It just... stops.
I hate dwelling on the negatives because there is so much that is good here. JMS has the opening of a great new urban fantasy series here. Kind of a Hellblazer/Fell/Sandman Slim mashup. Templesmith's four issues are amazing. I really got hooked on his work with Fell and will continue to buy most anything he draws. (less)
I don't think I've gone back and read these early issues since the TV show started. It's interesting to see some of the differences (Tyreese and Carol...moreI don't think I've gone back and read these early issues since the TV show started. It's interesting to see some of the differences (Tyreese and Carol together?!?!)
Tony Moore's first 6 issues seem a little bit out of place given Adlard's 120 issues and counting follow-up run, but it's not unfamiliar as he was still the cover artist for 18 more issues.(less)