Friday, April 22, 2005

Comics: Klarion #1 - SPOILERS

Well, the grand blogging experiment isn't working out as well as I had hoped. I'm making a new resolution to try and post something once per week. Today it's thoughts about Klarion - the new Seven Soldiers book from Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving.

Before I get into that, though, I'm making another resolution. I'm planning on concentrating on the things I like about comics for the near future. No rants about Infinite Crisis or who died this week or whatever. If I can't find something good to say about comics, I'll stop buying them again.

But, for now, I have Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers project to keep me happy. So far, only Zatanna has been even slightly disappointing to me, due to what I see as unecessary deaths of 3rd-tier characters. I'll put up a discussion on Zatanna sometime when I have nothing to talk about, but for now - Klarion!

I just finished a second read-through of the first issue of Klarion, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. This felt less hyper-kinetic than the other Seven Soliders books have been so far, and Morrison spent more time world-building with this than he has in all three of the prior 7S books put together. I'm impressed that Morrison has been able to give each book a fairly unique "voice" and that so far I've liked something about each of the books (even if I enjoy some more than others).

I was very impressed with the art on this book. I don't think I've seen anything by Frazer Irving before - does anyone have any recommendations for other things he's worked on in the past?

I especially liked the atmosphere of Limbo Town. The coloring was especially moody and atmospheric. I liked how everything was done in various dark shades, except for the cat Teekl and a few other things (like the candy bar wrapper).

As for the story itself, I thought it was very well done. Morrison definitely drew me into the underground world of Limbo Town and made me want to know more about it. Obviously we're at least meant to believe that its in an area deep underground and that the people there are
descended from folks from the surface. The next issue blurb seems to confirm that, so I'll take it at face value for now.

The religion of the witch-folk seems very interesting too. I'd like to know more about the witch-god Croatoan. At times they talk about him like he's alive and nearby ("How long until you are baptized and they take you to Croatoan?"), and yet the head of the Submissionary Order
needs to perform a divination with his own blood to figure out what their god wants them to do.

I like what I've seen of Klarion's character so far too. Within just the one issue Morrison gives a good introduction to not just Klarion's world, but also Klarion's mindset in that world. The short-hand is that he's a rebel, a young man chafing under the system he was born in. He has a father who has gone missing that he idolizes, and a curiosity about the world beyond the gates to Limbo Town that most of his fellow "witches" do not share.

With all that packed into a single issue, I was actually suprised that Morrison was able to give us some plot as well - tieing into the ongoing Seven Soldiers event. We learn that Limbo Town is tied to the Sheeda in some way, with prophecies indicating an upcoming Sheeda invasion and their own immunity to the Sheeda's assault. This makes me think that Croatoan will be linked to the Sheeda in some way, but who knows.

In all, this was probably my second favorite of the Seven Soldiers "first issues" so far, coming in right after The Guardian's first issue. Morrison and Irving definitely have me hooked for this one.

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