Max W. Beaulieu, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor

Max W. Beaulieu, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor

Eve Stranger’s trade paperback is beyond the simple binding of the various issues into a single form. It’s a celebration of the series, and I am excited to join in.

The Goddamned: The Virgin Brides is a VERY adult comic book.

Disclaimer: Sex Criminals is a comic book intended for adults. (Who knew?)

Sometimes, when reviewing comic books, you come into a series a few issues late. It is a rare occasion that issue #6 of a series makes you want to go back and read 1-5. Family Tree made me want to buy the trade paperback.

Pirates hold a special place in my heart. They symbolize a certain devilish freedom that near every young person desires to obtain. To be the master of your own destiny in a world of rules and rigor is a noble goal. A Man Among Ye attempts to do the same thing in the comic world.

I occasionally have nightmares themed around the works of R.L. Stein. His books occupied a strange and fantastic niche that only the children of the '90s could allow.

Reviewing comic books, especially individual issues, can occasionally prove challenging. Many books are fine if read in sequence but lack something if taken in a vacuum. Despite it being the middle book in a series, Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #1 makes me want to read the two series that it connects, and that is actually a delightful surprise.

I like the Silent Hill franchise.  It tries its best to touch on true horror. True horror is about atmosphere, madness, and a creeping sense of doom that follows you off the page and into your bed at night. So, I was giving Silent Hill Downpour: Anne’s Story a fair shot when it slapped me out of the horror mode and into confused mode.

Silent Hill: Downpour - Anne’s Story is not something I expected to like. Spin-off comics have trouble keeping up with the thing they are spinning off, and most of the time they end up as advertising that you pay for. That being said, I really dig this spin off.

Talent Deluxe Edition is a wondrous romp of secret society/spy novel style with just a dab of the supernatural . . . not too heavy but enough to bring the best out of both elements.

Minor Spoilers Below

Our main character, Nick Dane, is the lone survivor of a plane crash that killed hundreds of innocent people. He is chosen as the champion of balance and inherits the skills of all the people on board. Trained killers, boxers, as well as smaller talents, like origami.

Balance is huge part of the book, and the book touches on this directly, when our main character is speaking to a mystical creature who is the embodiment of balance, as well as more subtly, like when what could be one panel is split into two parts.

Moreover, we cannot really call our main character a hero. Several times, the powers of balance call on him to commit heinous acts in its service; good and evil just don’t play into it, and even the main character questions the morality of balance only to realize that there isn’t any.

End Spoilers

The art seems to go along with the notion of balance, as powerful, evocative lines contrast with downplayed colors. Despite the rather minimalist structure, much evoking Fraction’s Hawkeye, the artist is able to convey emotion effectively through fantastic body language, leading to complex scenes with minimalistic elements.

The book does has a few snags, though.  It suffers from girl-in-the-fridge syndrome, as the female characters are rather insubstantial and given little to no development, and yet we are supposed to, by virtue of their damsel in distress nature, feel bad for them.
 
The whole concept of the undisclosed secret society fused with metaphysics is also rather tired, and the book overall is solid but doesn't do anything to mix the game up.

As being a deluxe edition, it is the standard fair with a fantastic, little gallery of sketches that are quite enjoyable and bring a lot of life to the comic, as well as the original covers.

Definitely worth a pick up, but it’s not going to do anything amazing.

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