Friday, August 10, 2018

The Rook Archives - Volume Three!

With the third volume of The Rook Archives we see the end of the first phase of Rook adventures. Luis Bermejo leaves the strip and to my eye much of the charm which he brought to the characters especially the lovely ladies is lost. Stepping in to fill that void are capable artists like Alfredo Alcala, Jim Starlin, and Jim Janes, but none of these captures the fragile essence of the Rook. We get instead stories which seem interchangeable in many sci-fi comics.

Also there becomes a fixed story telling notion that Restin Dane, the titular Rook will act alone while in a parallel story his elder Bishop Dane and his robot Manners travel lines that will ultimately intersect with the primary story, if not directly then thematically. Frankly it seems that after establishing the cast in the earliest stories, Bill DuBay doesn't quite know how to manage them all. He clearly wants to move on from the Alamo stories, but can't seem to drop the cast. The girls especially have almost nothing to do and disappear entirely in certain tales.

The advent of Lee Elias is a good move as his lush black lines go far to recall the Bermejo original artwork. But for most of this volume he  is not present. It's fun sci-fi with that specific Warren flavor, but nothing in these stories really says "Rook".

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