Friday, May 23, 2014

Victory Is Sacrifice!


When word came that Dynamite Comics had acquired the rights to produce new comics based on some of Jack Kirby's later concepts, I was at first excited then remembered it was Dynamite. They have a history of taking exciting concepts, draining the essence, then slapping a wonderful Alex Ross cover on the whole duller-than-it-ought-to-be shebang. Sadly as far as I could detect from afar that seemed to be the case with these wild and colorful comics. I stayed away.

But the other day I found a trade copy of the Captain Victory comics for the price of a single comic, so I thought that a harmless enough entry. I picked it up and alas my expectations were accurate. The comic was written okay, with attempts to "humanize" the members of the Dreadnought Tiger, but this general dreary introspective approach was mitigated even more so by some really poor storytelling from the artist who seemed neither capable of capturing the majesty of the Kirby power nor able to evoke the clarity of his narrative.

The stories are not without some high points, at least we do get to see more of the lion-faced Tarin, the hard-nosed Klavus, and the aquatic Orca. What we learn is not unimportant and perhaps might've paid off eventually, but in this storyline seemed merely to slow the main plot which surrounded Victory's final solution for a planet overrun with a zombie plague which would have turned them into slave warriors for the enemy. Too much and too little is made of this at the same time, if that's possible. Either spend time on this point or go onto something else, but here this key element becomes a backdrop for the other tales. Weird.

For the price I paid, I cannot complain overmuch, but I can tell you if I'd paid full price for these stories, I'd be pretty upset. I got a distinct Image Comics aroma from these comics, and that's not the modern Image, that's old blatant but fundamentally incompetent Image from the 90's.

It's too bad. The Alex Ross covers are pretty good by and large! Here they are. 






Ironically after posting this I discovered it was just announced that Dynamite is trying out Captain Victory again. Here are the details.

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11 comments:

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    1. I've yet to LOVE any series they do. They always seem to get it slightly wrong.

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    2. King's Watch I loved. I take that back.

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  2. It's funny how Kirby's name still packs a punch and carries some weight on a comics cover. I don't recall seeing even Buscema's name used to such effect.

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    1. So true. The King's been gone a long time now.

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  3. At least you didn't pick up their Silver Star series, which was even worse! Do pick up Kurt Busiek's Kirby: Genesis, though. If only the companion series had been done by professionals too...

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  4. Nice Ross covers. I haven't read Kirby's original series yet, but I'd like to if I can get my hands on the entire run.

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    1. It's worth the effort. It used to be found dirt cheap, but these days I don't know.

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  5. The original series, though late in Kirby's reign is full of incredibly intense imagery. Some of the full page pictures of the Insectons are virtually psychedelic. And Paranex the Fighting Fetus! Kirby was a Creative Monster; he was possessed. You can reshuffle the elements in his many mythologies, but there's no way to use conventional techniques to recapture a thing that cannot be contained.

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    1. It's a wild ride for certain. More pure Kirby "Kreation" than Kirby "Kompetence", but still entertaining.

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