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by Ezio Poccia

Snake Plissken Chronicles #1
Chris Blythe, William O’Neil, Tone Rodrigues

If you liked the movie Escape From New York then you are going to love this comic. This does come with a warning, however, this is not a kiddie comic book. The language, violence and situations are for a more mature audience. You make the call as to what is mature. Having been a middle school teacher I can say from experience that middle school today is not what I grew up with. 

This intro book in the series shows us Snake Plissken at his best. He is a loner that doesn’t want trouble but when it comes his way then look out. Snake usually ends any dispute with a shoot now shoot more and then just walk away attitude. This episode also ends in a cliff hanger with a bound and caged Snake being tossed over board from a boat. You know that he is going to escape and then he will carry out his last words to the guy who did this to him. That’s right Snake will kill him eventually.

The art work here is outstanding and while the writing is very basic we would decidedly not expect Shakespear to come forth from Snake Plissken. This is a series worth investing time in.

Solus #3
Barbara Kesel, George Perez, Rick Magyar, Larry Molinar

The Crossgen Universe has spread out to many worlds and many titles over the last few years. We have been transported to many worlds and many situations with tie-ins that at times have linked story lines together but with the exception of The First and the ever present sigils \on lead characters there didn’t seem to be many common threads. It seems that Solus may be a thread that links most of the Crossgen Universe together. Barbara Kesel has been compared to Machiavelli by me for the way she weaves her stories and sucks us into their twists and turns. Is it The first that are the lead characters in this universe or the Atlanteans that is at the heart of the Crossgen universe. Perhaps Solus will answer a lot of questions as this story line progresses. Boy this is turning into a fun ride. Confusing at times but fun.

This issue of Solus brings us further into the mind of its’ central character Solusandra. It turns out that she is an Atlantean and we see her fighting off Danik and arguing with her mentor Capricia. ( If you don’t know those two characters then you had better catch up with another Crossgen title, Crux. ) We also see Solusandra trying desperately to regain bits and pieces of her memory by visiting other worlds and taking their sigils from them thus restoring her own power. It seems that the sigils and their power originated with Solusandra. The first to come under her touch is Brath MacGaren She takes his power but lets him live. When she returns to her own world she finds Andra waiting for her. Andra believes that all this is a computer program gone haywire and that Solusandra is just a manifestation of that program.

Barbara Kesel is at the top of her form with this title. To this we add the artwork of George Perez and Solus stands with any title any where any time.

Brath #4
Chuck Dixon, Andrea DiVito, John Dell, Rob Schwager

The battle scenes in this issue are incredible. They are drawn with detail and depth and with writing that matches them well that you just don’t want this issue to end. Dixon is doing an incredible job and this series really show cases his talent. All the classic elements of war are here. Heroes, causes, evil far off tyrants and even traitors.

Brath MacGaren is fighting for his people and all their lands, but, his rival for clan leader ship has made a deal with the enemy. MacDool and his followers were to guard the flanks of their lines. Instead the enemies’ archers now rain death upon their ranks with their bows and arrows. The battle had been joined and under Brath leadership it was well on its way to being won. Now it seems that if Brath survives the battle then he is going to have to fight his own people for undisputed leadership of them all.

The artwork here is also of top notch quality. The scenes with the elephants leading the legions into battle against the highlanders are especially well done and remind me of old art works depicting the Cartheginians crossing the Alps in hopes of defeating the Roman legions.

The Silken Ghost #1
Chuck Dixon, Will Rosado, Chuck Gibson, Michael Atiyeh

This is an intriguing start to what promises to be a real interesting and action packed story line. We have met the Silken Ghost before in Way of the Rat. This time, However, we are treated to insites into her origin. She and four other masters of martial arts have been summoned by their old mentor/master in their dreams. We are shown the adventure that these former students have in full filling their summons” These guys give new meaning to the phrase “getting there is half the fun”. We are told that there are supposed to be five ghosts or former students that have been summoned We are also told that they were all thrown out of the school for various infractions. The only missing student or ghost was thrown out for betrayal. What we aren’t told is who their master is and what does he want.

Chuck Dixon is giving us another fun ride with this title and just like Way of the Rat it looks like there is going to be an element of fun along with the action and story.

Mystic #36
Tony Bedard, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, Will Quintana

This chapter has Giselle Trying to right wrongs and as usual with anything that Giselle gets involved with it usually gets as screwed up as it can. She has found out that the cause of all her recent woes lies in the fact that the Magus who is in charge of the Dark Magi guild has been behind her troubles. She sees a knight in shinning armor type in a man called Tancred. He wants to depose the Magus and be in charge of the guild himself. So without really exploring the ramifications of her actions Giselle decides to aid Tancred. What she doesn’t realize is that Tancred is every bit as bad if not more so than the current Magus. She realizes this way to late and in the end helps the magus regain his power. The only problem with that is that the Magus of the Dark Magi guild was not alone in his tampering of her life. Vashua of the Tantic Guild was also in on her recent misadventures. These two along with the being who is really behind all of Giselles’ recent troubles, Master Archemus, spell real trouble for the playgirl trying to reform herself.

Good luck Giselle, you’re gonna need it.

Lady Death #4
Brian Pullido, Ivan Reis, Marc Campos, Chris Blythe

When Wolframs brother Cai discovers Hope, aka Lady Death, he along with his gang of brother Knights want nothing more than to execute her. They believe that she has killed Wolfram and that she is an Eldritch witch. When Wolfram suddenly pops out of the woods where he has been hunting they are shocked to her him utter blasphemous words against the church and those that follow its evil leaders. Wolf has nothing against the church itself, only its’ corrupt heads. Little does this matter to Cai and the other knights. They take both Hope and Wolfram prisoners.

When the prisoners are brought before the evil bishop they claim their innocense and are of course immediately sentenced to death. Once they alone they call upon Hopes Eldritch powers and free themselves only to find that they have run into a dead end in their escape route through the dungeons. All appears to be lost until Hopes father shows up with Hopes weapons and a very determined look on his face as they face they captors. Looks like they knights of the evil bishop had be ready to rumble in the dungeon.

The Crossovers #5
Robert Rodi, Mauricet, Ernie Colon, Mark McNabb

All right lets all do a role call of all the baddies shall we. Believe me in this book you need a score-card In the line up and going after our intrepid family of superheroes and just plain strange people we have:

A mad scientist that just wants dad utterly destroyed, an alien ( you know the type from outer space not Bagdad) that wants control of the families son, an alternate world dominating queen that wants to slay the daughter and a vampire that wants to sink his teeth into mom but will settle for sis if she’s available. Got it! Oh yes, lets not forget the hordes of aliens, robots, blood sucking brain washed girl friends and various and sundry other minions. You thought your plate was full did you. Four stories are wrapped in one book every month and I can’t get enough. This is a high speed sneaker blow-out.

Mr. Crossover is desperately trying to find and care for his children. Mrs. Crossover is trying to protect a little girl that is being bled by he vampire arch enemy. Little does she know that the vampire has bitten her own daughter and that she has turned into a vampire in another world Of course that is temporarily a good thing since it helps her defeat the evil empress. As for the little girl that she is trying to protect it seems that Mrs. Crossovers son has given the girl a does of alien serum and she is now poisonous to vampires.

OK that’s’ enough I’m exhausted go home and read some thing light like War and Peace.

Crux #26
Chuck Dixon, Paul Ryan, Pablo Marcos, Laura Villari

The Atlanteans are awakening, or at least those Atlanteans that Aristophanes thinks he can use and control are being awakened. They look over their domain and see that it has taken quite a beating over the last 100,000 years. Aristophanes wants control. Moreover he wants things to return to the way they were. His only problem is that there are several groups that all want control of this little ball of mud called Earth.

The Negation, which he has already fought and which he believes he can defeat. Terra Cognito, which is a huge corporation bent on controlling the Earth, they claim ownership of Earth. Then there are the pesky Atlanteans that woke up first and want nothing more than to restore their friends and loved ones and guide what is left of Earth. 

We see in this episode that battle lines are being drawn that are both visible and not yet even realized.

Aristophanes group has killed a group of Marines sent down to “handle” them. The Terra Cognito big wigs that are in orbit around the Earth are ready to unleash bigger and meaner weapons against the Atlanteans and no one realizes that The Negation is about to ruin every ones’ party in a big way. 

The next couple of episodes of this story should be incredible.

Way of the Rat #13
Chuck Dixon, Jeff Johnson, Tom Ryder, Chris Garcia

Boon Sai Hong has, at this point, only one major regret and that is having stolen the scroll in the first place. He comes right out and says that it was not the theft itself that bothers him but the fact that the princess has been absorbed into the Hell of the Hungry Dragons contained within the scroll. Both Boon and the old sorcerer woman that aided him in his triumph over the dragons that had sprung from the scroll now search the ruins of Zhumar for the only thing that may help them recover the princess, The Phoenix Heart. Only this enchanted crystal can perhaps restore the princess to the land of the living. They find the crystal but the only spirit they can muster from it is the evil Judge Xiang. The former ruler of the city wants revenge against Boon. The only person who can see the spirit of the judge is Boon himself. The old woman finally believes that Boon really is seeing the judge and with incantations manages to send the judge back to the hell he came from. The judge comes back out of the crystal by himself and he brings with him all sorts of evil tortured souls that all seem bent on getting even with some one.

Way of the Rat is always a real treat both literal and visual. The only problem is that it is to short a read. Hey, how about a giant sized issue? Please?

 

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