Review: Area 10

Area 10Area 10 by Christos Gage

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Vertigo Crime imprint hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype for me. No stupid-great noir tales despite having some pretty talented folks writing and/or drawing a few of them. That said, Area 10 is pretty good. Not off the hook, but certainly an entertaining read.

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Christos Gage’s fast paced book focuses on the hunt for a serial killer dubbed “Henry the Eighth” and the one cop in particular that’s trying to bring him in. Fairly standard fare. The thing that makes this a little more unique is the cringe-worthy injury that allows the killer to stay one step ahead of the law. Couple of twists that I didn’t see coming and the characters ultimately grew on me.

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Not overly psyched about the art. I like a lot of black and white stuff, but it took a while for me to come around to Chris Samnee’s work in this one and I enjoyed his recent run on Daredevil. In the end it was certainly serviceable enough.

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While it’s built on a familiar foundation, Area 10 does do a couple of things different and has enough originality to warrant a read if you’re a fan of serial killer fiction or noir comics. I was unaware that Gage had written for Law & Order: SVU prior to reading this. SVU is one of my wife’s favorite shows and this sorta reads a little like one of their episodes. And that’s not a bad thing.

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Review: Moon Knight, Vol. 1 – From the Dead, by Warren Ellis

Moon Knight, Vol. 1: From the DeadMoon Knight, Vol. 1: From the Dead by Warren Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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On account of it was my choice…Black and White week! (or Bi-week, as we’ve realized it’s sadistic to force KitKat to do 52 Banners in a year).

So here we go: The cover is Black and White, and Moon Knight is Black and White. Dull Colour Palette only the White pops. That and there’s a showdown between Black and White, good and evil in one issue.

I’m not sure if it had to do with the order of reading, but having read my last book (New Avengers Vol. 4 by Hickman – or Namor’s Big Balls, as I’ll call it), and finding it utterly lacking; this was a delight.

That being said, it wasn’t what I’d usually give 4 stars…but I for sure enjoyed it, I would recommend it to others, and I’m sad there won’t be more of the same. Brian Wood is great when it’s NOT Capes and Tights…so here’s hoping it doesn’t go the way of X-Women…

Anyhow, Marc Spector is Moon Knight, and also Mr. Knight, and also apparently a couple of other peeps…he died in Egypt, and they have lots of gods of afterlife, who returned Marc to life after he died being good for once in his life…

“I’ve Died Before. It was boring, so I stood up.”

Might be the most badass line I’ve read in comics in a long time…I love it. It would also rock as a movie tagline…Marvel, make this happen (also, my latest craze, Tom Hardy as Frank Castle!).

Warren Ellis is on form here, closer to Transmetropolitan than the crappy Avengers Endless Wartime book a few years ago…

This is another one where the art is supposed to look, I dunno, retro-gritty? Is that a thing? I think it’s muted greys and browns and such, so the White of Moon Knight’s/Mr. Knight’s getups pop well.

I like the 2 versions. Mr. Knight is the pseudo-disguise that acknowledges he’s the same beast as Moon Knight, but prevents him from being arrested as a dangerous vigilante, and allows him to work with the police…(I really thought that was a creative idea, plus the outfit is killer.)
Moon Knight is the one we know already, and would have recognized before this.

There’s some interesting stand-alone stories in the 6 here, the best stylistically are the sniper one (as Sam already highlighted in his review) which was awesome for the 8 panels per page, each disappearing to White blank space as another person was killed, until the page was empty…very cool style which elevated a story lacking much substance.
There was also the Raid/Judge Dredd style one attacking the building. Very fun style in what could have been sucky, because it was minimal on chatter.
Warren Ellis can write with the best of them (as he is one of the best) but here, he’s pretty minimalist, and I dig it.

There’s also a trippy one about Dreams/and inhaling dead people. Very trippy with a bit of a modern Poe feel to it (Telltale Heart).

None of the stories are amazing, and there’s not a ton of connection, but there’s enough here to interest me, keep my attention, and stylistically, very cool. This guy is similar to Batman, yes, but also Punisher-like. So Bat-Punisher? it works, yet he’s all his own man.

I honestly don’t know if I read it tomorrow if I’d give it 4-stars again, but I feel like I’d still enjoy it, probably enough to do 3+ stars and then I’d realize why I did give it 4. It’s ORIGINAL. It’s not original, it’s cool, it’s boring, but, it’s not like anything else, and neither is Marc Spector.

I sure know who I’ll call when some Ghost Punks come at me next time…hell, he’s Bat-Punisher-Ghostbuster-Dredd. Wow. And he rocks a sweet ride, suit, and plane.

Oh and he’s sorta brain damaged, and has been dead before…no big thang…

Check it out, you won’t find it derivative, that’s for sure.


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