Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Steven's Reviews: The Activity #7, Prophecy #2, The Spider #3

The Activity #7
I loved the call signs here for the operation as they were all super-hero based. “I’m told that Sergeant Kleker reads comic books sir.” That really tickled my fancy I must say. It was nice touch, homage what have you to the industry and showing everyone that comic fans are in all walks of life.

I will say that I’ve never been in the military and that all of my knowledge comes from books, movies and television so I can never be sure what it’s really like but this seems pretty much on par with what I imagined. Plus real life Marines are helping them out from what I understand. I am fascinated by the Jargon, lingo and such that they use as well as the discipline needed to make these operations work.

Being part of a covert team cannot be easy and I’m sure it’s even harder when you’re trying to date someone like Major Dallas is. Especially when you’re commanding General tells you to break up with him. Okay now I have to admit that when we saw him and the General asked for what he did I thought there is more to him than meets the eye. Perhaps there is some ultra secret nefarious reason he is with her to expose the government or something along those lines. Even us seeing the break-up over lunch didn’t squelch my suspicions.

The current mission is to turn the goat, Mohammed Saoudi. By using some psychological tactics, making him scared beyond belief and keeping him from sleeping so they can swoop in and save the day is well what could go wrong? I love how they are setting all this up with both low and high tech stuff. There are setting old fashioned style one could almost say.

I have to admit this isn’t like other books it has elements of a good team book along with the Bourne and Bond books all mixed together to create something special and unique. This really is a pleasure to read.

Prophecy #2
Dynamite Entertainment 2012
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Walter Geovani
Colours by Adriano Lucas

This issue we open with Dr. Herbert West who is currently locked up in an asylum, a nut house. He’s going on about the end of the world and how he can help prevent it and the guards of course think he’s just ranting like any other lunatic and ignore him while doing their rounds.
Which by the way it was a nice move to put the creative team in the cells next to his on the ward I rather enjoyed the nod there.
The guards go on the alert when West stops rambling on and when they rush back to his cell they find it empty. He’s vanished into thin air.

Meanwhile in the Yucatan Peninsula Dracula and Vampirella interrogate Red Sonja, believing her to be associated with Kulan Gath. Upon deciding she isn’t in league with the sorcerer they release her as Pantha arrives. It’s at this point in time that we get a quick abridged version of Sonja’s history with Gath. At the end a bargain is struck that they should work together to end his scheme.

Sonja believes there are only four but then Dracula says not quite as Eva’s presence is revealed and she is not alone. She has found Herbert West and brought him along as well. They give him a moment to explain who he is and he pulls out the Necronomicon, which he believes his copy to be the original. In it there is a description of the events unfolding before them and he’s there to help oppose those forces bent on destruction.

I liked when Sonja asked why these dark beings would want this man stopped and the logical answer was given if humanity is destroyed so are they. They are dependent upon each other and sometimes ones own survival means protecting others from threats they know nothing about.

And then they were six.

The see Gath entering an old Mayan pyramid and follow him in. When they finally find him he’s at a Mayan Calendar Wheel and performing the summoning spell calling forth his avatars. Which by the way he is successful in doing I might add.

Sonja rushes forward bent on destroying Gath but is halted by an Avatar that is struck by a new arrival. Athena vows that these gods aren’t the only ones who will battle and that they will be destroyed.

And then they were seven.

So far I love the way that everyone is meeting up it doesn’t really feel forced or rushed at all and it comes across incredibly natural. I think Ron Marz is one of those rare talents whose work goes relatively unnoticed and under appreciated. Personally I enjoy his work and will take every opportunity to experience it. Then again we’ve also got some great artwork here as well to go along with the writing. I also enjoyed the who’s who entry pages on Dracula and Kulan Gath it goes a long way to helping flesh out the characters I am unfamiliar with.

The Spider #3
Dynamite Entertainment 2012
Written by David Liss
Illustrated by Colton Worley

I like how this issue opens with a couple of kids trying to sneak in to the Hard Rock New York because the carding practices are lacking. Only this trip is going to be their last as the Egyptian Gods are releasing their zombie gas on the unsuspecting patrons. I love the reasoning behind it too, just to drive him crazy making him wonder why this place at this time and all that jazz. To make him fear the chaos and to know he cannot stop it. Seriously this has been so darn well written that I can’t help but be impressed and completely drawn in.

Then we’ve got the art and the scene where the Spider lands on the ambulance while it’s moving was epic! I mean really it is one of those moments you look and you go how the hell was he able to get that effect?

Richard’s been cut off from his usual sources since it seems that too many people think he’s really the Spider. His best friend the Commissioner can’t afford a tainted case so he’s been sent to exile. Apparently too many people think Richard is the Spider so he’s going to have to do something to fix that right quick. Either by hiring someone to play the role and they see him at the same time or just come clean and tell the world who he is. Which isn’t really an option I know but still it’s a good thought.

So what do you do when you’ve been cut off from your sources? You head off to see your journalist ex-girlfriend who also happens to be the Commissioner’s wife for intel and well help. I’m not sure flirting or trying to use a guilt trip is the surefire way to get what you want but you can hear the desperation in his voice during their talk. Thanks to both David and Colton you can get the full effect at how this is affecting him.

The antagonistic, sarcastic and volatile relationship Richard has with his father isn’t an act as I originally thought. I figured this was part of his plan to keep people from thinking he was who he was but he really hates his old man. I get it he helps manufacture weapons for the armed forces. Including a gas that is similar in composition to this zombie gas being used. He slips a bug, literally a spider bug, on his father’s computer so it can be hacked easily enough.

Ah Ram Singh Attorney at Law and his best friend who just happens to help him out in his other identity. Slippery slope he’s on helping out the Spider while being a practicing lawyer. Still interesting dynamic here and a helpful man to be friends with I must say.

The Egyptian god pair show up again after the Spider makes a little noise. This whole exchange is wonderfully scripted and illustrated. The dialogue is utterly fantastic and it’s another reason why I am enjoying this series as much as I am.

On the whole this book has taken be complete surprise in just how high the quality is.

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