FEATURES : COLUMNS : REVIEWS : NEWS : FILM & TV : FORUMS : UGO

ABOUT




New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pťrez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.
 








Comic Review:
Lady Death #1
By Matt Martin

02.20.03


Crossgen Entertainment/Code 6 Ė Brian Pulido (w); Ivan Reis (p); Marc Campos (i)

For the second time in as many weeks, I must say that this book isnít nearly as bad as I had expected it to be.

Now, I know that there is a group of rabid Chaos! Comics fans out there. Apparently there arenít enough of them to keep the companyís ledgers in the black, but thatís neither here nor there (and a bit of a low blow, I admit). But I must say, I never found Chaosí books to be to my liking. Call me narrow-minded, but I think a lot of that had to do with my reluctance to be taken for any more of a geek than I already am, and reading a stack of books featuring grotesquely-endowed (and entirely anatomically impossible, I might add) women with names like Bad Kitty just didnít seem like the most logical way to accomplish that.


Article continued below advertisement


But anyway, back to the matter at hand. Iím not going to comment on the rumors of impropriety on behalf of either Pulido or Crossgen in relation to this book. Because, frankly, a) I donít know the first thing about it and b) it has no impact on whether or not this is a good read (and some would add ďc) it has no place in a review, so stop talking about it, MattĒ). Nor can I accurately compare this relaunch to any past efforts with the character, due to my aforementioned complete lack of any knowledge of those efforts. Itís a unique position to be in, I think, to have basically no grounds on which to have a preconceived notion about the book, yet still expect to dislike it.

But I didnít.

Now, Iím not saying that Iím going to shout its glories from the rooftops, but this incarnation of Lady Death is remarkably different from what I expected it to be.

Lady Death is set in the fantasy village of Novgorod, in the early 1200s. Fearing the proliferation of the human race, the Eldritch, a magically-inclined humanoid race many centuries the senior of the humans, engages in what is known as the Wild Hunt, a practice of regularly raiding human villages and slaughtering the inhabitants for sport. However, the Eldritch lord, Tvarus, finds himself falling in love with a human maiden named Marion. During one night of the Hunt, as magically-drawn snow blankets the village, Tvarus and Marion consummate their love. Horrified to learn of the slaughter that had taken place whilst she dallied with the enemy, Marion flees Novgorod, leaving behind a Teutonic Knight named Wolfram Von Bach as the only survivor of the battle.

She returns eighteen years later with her daughter, Hope, a child conceived during her one night with Tvarus, only after the girlís insistence to see the home of her mother. Immediately, it becomes apparent that Hope has inherited some of more unsettling characteristics of her fatherís rather otherworldly ancestry. When facing a villager, the father of a boy killed during the Hunt the resulted in her conception, Hopeís eyes turn completely white. However, when viewed by anyone else, they appear completely normal. Hope and her mother take refuge in a local inn, where a bit of clunky, ham-fisted dialogue reveals Hopeís origin to her. The revelation is cut short, however, by the return of Henry, the villager to whom Hopeís eyes transformed, with a medieval-style angry mob in tow. Meanwhile, Hopeís paternal half continues to seek out the daughter he has never known, all the while oblivious to the fact that tragedy looms over her head.

Now, given that summary, Iím inclined to point out that this doesnít sound terribly different from a number of other Crossgen books. As far as genres are concerned, fantasy is something that the company is in no way short of, particularly fantasy involving female leads. But as it doesnít involve the sigil, itís technically not a Crossgen Universe book, I suppose; hence the Code 6 imprint. All the same, itís not likely that Lady Death is the book thatís going to give Crossgen its first breakout success, simply by virtue of the fact that itís terribly similar to a large portion of their company-owned books.

But hereís the funniest part: for all I know, this could be the exact same origin sequence that the Chaos! version of Lady Death had, only with smaller boobs. In which case, Chaos! should have taken that step years ago, because it does wonders for the impression that the book gives off.

In any event, Lady Death isnít a bad book. The dialogue comes off as a little forced on occasion and the plot isnít going to win any awards for originality, but itís a solid effort. More importantly, itís a visually tame effort, at least in comparison to past versions of the character. The art from Ivan Reis is very reminiscent, at least to me, of Bryan Hitch. Itís not as detailed, nor is it in Hitchís trademark widescreen style, but something about the way Reis draws faces reminds me a lot of Hitch and thatís no bad thing.

So, at the end of the day, you could certainly do a lot worse than to pick up Lady Death. Fans of the character are going to grab this book no matter what I say, but fantasy aficionados that might have been put off by the reputation of the license should give the book a chance. They might be surprised by it.

Final Score: 3/5


Related Links:
Lady Death #1 Five-Page Preview


Visit Our Hip Partner Sites:
X-Entertainment | NewGrounds | RetroCrush | BBSpot

 

 
E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend

 

 



 
Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.


CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent