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God of Comics – The Shadow #3

God Of Comics, Reviews

October 17, 2017

The Shadow #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)

What evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.

Maniacal laughter ensues, violent lives brought to a violent end.

There’s a thing about looking backward, perhaps, and thinking that life was better and simpler back in the past, when people lived to the ripe old age of died in childbirth and doctors refused to wash their hands because why would they? A gentleman’s hands are always clean was the excuse given, and thousands died while going to doctors. That’s violent, right? A violent bit of nonsense that resulted in full graveyards.

Someone once said that the conservative mindset is rooted in the idea of moral perfection having already been found, and that any challenge to what is has to, therefore, be evil. It’s an arrogance rooted in the belief that we have already come as far as it is possible to come, when any observer could tell you that everything moves, changes, grows. The only still things are dead, and even they are given over to entropy.

Taking this as an idea, it stands to reason that a still morality is going to become entropic: it must decay, fester, turn evil. Hubris and arrogance are the roots of evil, then, the certainty that comes with feeling that one is done growing, done changing, done trying to make the world better.

Objective reality, of course, cares nothing for ideology. When good men step aside and allow evil men to rule, when lies are not called out and become a matter of policy, the innocents that are murdered remain dead. No amount of thoughts and prayers are going to bring them back. No amount of ignoring the problem is going to make climate change any less real, and no military might is going to halt the destruction to come.

It occurs to me that might be the most horrifying thing about being the Shadow – the Shadow knows that evil. The Shadow has to be able to see the cause, the course, the inevitable ripple effects that result in trauma, pain, more evil. Violence cycling down, tarnishing everything noble with entropy, convincing people to destroy what they believe their god created so that their god will come back and save them. From the everything that they themselves destroyed.

Here’s the truth: we’re all going to die. Sooner or later. There may be a heaven or a hell, but within the context of his own mythos the Shadow will live on. He can be hurt, butchered, crippled, and killed but the killing never takes. He heals and returns, heals and returns, heals and returns because when you know evil like he does you cannot turn away from it, cannot do anything other than fight it with everything in you.

Si Spurrier and Dan Watters are exactly the sort of writers that get this, a sliver of that knowing taking root in their souls. It’s enough to grow into a tale where the Shadow is forced to confront the root causes of the symptoms he has spent a century fighting. Here, we get him burnt and helpless, recovering from wounds that should have killed him but, again, death just doesn’t take.

The stories of the Shadow in that world, though, have inspired copycats that miss the point, because they don’t know. His nurse, meanwhile, is a woman he rescued from a school shooting and she’s trying to do him a solid, keeping him hidden and safe from the many evils that threaten him… all while trying to heal the mind and body, delving into the dark sins that drive one who knows.

Daniel HDR handles art, setting tones, lines, and colors that differentiate flashbacks, time periods, eras, mythologies; it’s a strange confidence that lets him experiment with form and create various styles that work well to build a cohesive whole.

And as good as the individual pieces are, the whole is better still. Do not miss this.

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545

God of Comics – The Shadow / Batman #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

October 4, 2017

The Shadow / Batman #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Didn’t this just happen…?

Well, yes. Yes, it did. It started in April and wrapped a few weeks ago. DC Comics had their crack at this crossover earlier in the year, and even used the same writer. Steve Orlando told a solid and harrowing tale that worked with the constructs that both the Shadow and the Batman demand, and yet he sowed them together and showed where their similarities lie. Most importantly, he moved the mythology of both characters forward by weaving a tale rife with fated outcomes and the price of free will, the cost of perspective and redemption.

Heady stuff, but Steve is good like that.

This is the follow-up, the chance for Dynamite to publish the second half of Steve’s story – or so we assume. Previously, we learned that the Shadow is created from evil and given the task of redemption, and that someone who chose evil and murdered their way towards corrupting everything forever. Batman and the Shadow stopped that from happening by combining their efforts despite their differences: while both of them know the evil that lurks in the hearts of men, the Shadow kills and the Bat does not.

Interestingly, Steve put forth the idea that the powers that taught the Shadow were also shaping Bruce, preparing him to take up a different mantle; when Bruce turned them down, the Shadow imagined himself cursed to carry the weight of his struggle forevermore. It’s interesting that Bruce, offered immortality, would turn it down – but then, he has always been human, and always known that some day he was going to die.

So, here they go again: the path to those that taught the Shadow has been lost, leaving two men who cannot stand one another struggling to understand what one of them is and might become. In the process, they have discovered a taint that lies at the very core of both civilization and the human spirit. Can even minds such as theirs stop such a threat without killing everyone in the process?

This is the question that Steve Orlando asks: can evil be fought without destroying everything? Can one look unblinking into the Abyss without the Abyss looking into that one? Dynamite brings Giovanni Timpano for another crack at the Shadow, and if there is anyone that illustrates that character better you’d be hard-pressed to find him or her. The man lives in noir, regardless of what other genres he finds himself bringing to life with his clever pens: science fiction (Eclipse), horror (Infestation), Action (Justice, Inc), or even camp (Plan 9 From Outer Space Strikes Again!).

Do not miss this – it’s going to be incredible. And be sure to pick up DC Comics’ version of this when it comes out in trade, too.

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602

God of Comics – The Shadow #2

God Of Comics, Reviews

September 14, 2017

The Shadow #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)

This comic has me conflicted.

Not about reading it, or loving it. This is definitively something I need to read and recommend, and I know I’m going to feel strongly about pretty much every page. Rather, I’m conflicted about where to start this diatribe. There’s a choice, see, two starting points that are equally valid and important. I’ve been staring at my computer screen for minutes, silent and static before even writing this much. All this was meant to do was quiet the terror of the blank page but now I’m lost in the mire.

Let’s flip a coin.

Okay.

I knew this comic was going to be good the moment that Si Spurrier was writing it. He’s the genius behind some of the deepest, most complex, and politically charged comics of the modern era – and, yes, he’s British and so there also a stint on Judge Dredd and the associated stuff, but coming out of that he’s done the Spire and God Shaper and Weavers and Cry Havoc and… listen, if he’s working on something it’s going to be great and full of a simmering anger at social injustice and the complacent idiocy that allows corruption to fester.

Mind you, Dan Watters is not a writer to pass over, either. He lives and breathes in the darkest parts of the human imagination, having written Limbo and Little Nightmares and Assassin’s Creed. Each of those titles speak of the societal ennui that has murdered the soul of a generation that knows there is nothing for them, that the lies of their parents have led to a nightmare from which there is no waking.

Lastly, there are artists Daniel HDR and Natalia Marques, the former of whom adds moody inks and ghostly lines to the latter’s eerie color palettes and love affair with shadows. Something this bright should not be this haunting, and yet…

And yet.

With that in mind, could there be a better character for them to write than the Shadow? You’d be hard pressed to think so; the Shadow stares unblinking into the evil that lurks in the hearts of every living thing. Traditionally, this means that the Shadow fights gangers and thieves and the like, the symptoms of crime rather than the causes. Is this truly what the Shadow, above and beyond any other hero, would be fighting?

Yes, there’s anger and hate and evil in the gangs and thieves and all the rest, but the police are all too happy to shoot and kill people they even suspect of doing bad things, regardless of whether they do them or not. We have all sorts of fictions dealing with crime lords and their lackeys finding judgment at the hands of some reckless madman with a gun, which only leads to more madmen and more guns.

The question is often asked: why don’s superheroes deal with real world problems?

The answer is that superheroes deal with the real world problems of their worlds, but the Shadow is unique in that his arch-rival is literally the evil that lives in the heart of every living thing. He’s shooting gang members, sure, but that doesn’t actually fix the problem of institutional racism and enforced propaganda and media compliance that makes those gangs look like the only way out of a terrible situation.

Street gangs, terrible as they might be, are still only a symptom. They’re victims of generational abuse that are lashing out, a reflection of the pride and greed and wrath that have hurt them and degraded them and demeaned them time and again. The same pride and greed and wrath that feeds false narratives and pushes for border walls and thinks racism will make anything great and looks back at false histories and believes in alternative facts.

The real causes are the people that hide behind corporate personhood while crashing national economies to make themselves rich, that ignore the health and suffering of the people they steal from to make themselves a little wealthier, that believe that an accident of birth gives them the right to a pride they have done nothing to earn. The real causes are the people that are killing the planet and everything on it to feed a strange death cult that venerates the worst impulses of the human soul.

And who looks unblinking into the heart of human evil?

The Shadow. The Shadow knows.

He is alone in this, sad and evil. Sad because he is alone and immortal, more force of nature than anything human. Evil because he has stared into the abyss too long, his laughter tinged with the madness he found there, an insanity he uses to keep the evil at bay as much as he uses his guns to cleave the cancer out. There is no forgiveness for some things, and salvation has always been the lie those who do evil use to abdicate responsibility. The Shadow knows all of this and is terrifying because of it.

So bring him into the modern world, bring him into reality and turn him loose. Burn him and steal his memories, lock him away and try to forget he exists. The Shadow knows. Give him the chance to recover and he will come for you, a righteous madman full of anger, written by two writers and an artist that understand the broiling rage of eight billion suffering souls that have been lied to in order that they might feed a paltry few. Their work comes down from the highest authority.

Jack Kirby once said, “You fellas think of comics in terms of comic books, but you’re wrong. I think you fellas should think of comics in terms of drugs, in terms of war, in terms of journalism, in terms of selling, in terms of business. And if you have a viewpoint on drugs, or if you have a viewpoint on war, or if you have a viewpoint on the economy, I think you can tell it more effectively in comics than you can in words. I think nobody is doing it. Comics is journalism.”

Who are any of us to doubt the King?

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341

God of Comics – Killer Instinct #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

September 12, 2017

Killer Instinct #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

There’s a certain sense you get from people that know they’re fighting game lore. It’s the same sort of thing you get from people that read Sutter Cane: there are levels of a reality that you perceive that no one else does.

It’s a long-standing belief of mine that the original writer for the Street Fighter mythos thought he was writing a role-playing game. How else to explain the American showboat, the PTSD and regret-ridden soldier out for revenge, the young girl driven by tragedy to become an Interpol agent who now seeks to take down an international criminal organization? And those are the sane back stories, not getting into, say, the genetically perfect female clone of the male genetically enhanced antichrist who has tapped into the darkest impulses of every living soul through a machine?

And that’s Street Fighter. Every other fighting game started developing their own mythology to go along with the mechanics and characters of their games, sometimes coming up with weird lore that rivals the original and, in some cases, surpasses it.

For your pleasure, may we present Killer Instinct.

Killer Instinct was a combo-heavy second-party Nintendo game that jumped over to Microsoft when the company that made the game did so. It’s now done what Capcom tried (and failed) to do with Street Fighter V, though neither has quite become the e-sport both companies were hoping for. The mythology carries through, though, this weird thing that goes back thousands of years to the dawn of man and maybe before.

Turns out that the dawn of history was shaped by two demonic warlords: Eyedol and Gargos. Neither of them cared much for anything other than destroying the other, and the battles rocked the planet and shaped much of our geography until they managed to nearly kill one another. They both dropped off into nothing and humans happened, rising up and claiming the planet for themselves and creating a society much like our own.

Except that they went for the darkest timeline: corporations took over by paying off politicians, basically turning the world into what America is becoming under Trump – an unholy Hellscape for anyone without the letters CEO in front of their name. Cybernetics and genetic experimentation became the norm as human rights went out the window in favor of corporate profits.

A funny thing happened along the way: as robotics advanced, corporate entities went from being legal machines to actual ones. This inhumanization resulted in more atrocities and greater profits, with masses of humanity kept in line via blood and circuses and whatever else while also being kept poor and poor and poor. One of those companies is called Ultratech, and they serve as the base antagonist of the series as a whole.

Ultratech thought it would be a good idea to wake up first Eyedol and then Gargos. Eyedol caused all sorts of havoc until a band of heroes rallied together and made him stop, but then Gargos literally went after the spiritual side of the planet – an aspect of the world that corporations know nothing about and claim doesn’t exist, but nonetheless would have seen them killed, too, if it were destroyed.

A plucky band of heroes led by a shadow ninja guardian person named Jago and his friend Kim stepped in and saved the world from Gargos, but saw themselves vastly weakened by the cataclysmic battle that ensued. Ultratech took the opportunity to corner the not-so-free market, but a new power called the Coven is gathering a secret malevolence with the intention of enslaving every conscious mind in the world.

All of which begs the question: Do you read Sutter Cane?

Dynamite was lucky enough to snag Ian Edginton for this project. You know he’s one of the better UK writers because he’s worked on – wait for itJudge Dredd, but has also worked on a metric tonne of stuff that dwells down in the grimdark and lore-heavy complexities of the medium. He is very much the person you want writing this. Cam Adams is on art, which is also a good choice given his work on everything from Star Wars to Batman to Inner Station to Ash vs.

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379

God of Comics – John Wick #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

September 5, 2017

John Wick #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

The real world impact of John Wick was about as explosive as the character.

It’s a weird thing to think, but original concept action movies are kind of dead. Everything Hollywood produces these days is attached to an existing property, it seems, so when John Wick was announced no one had any idea what to make of it. The advertising was not existent and it was shuffled out and, I imagine, expected to be a forgotten piece of nothing in first quarter filmic flotsam.

Word of mouth carried it further than anyone might have expected it to go. I’d say going further than it had any business going, but that would be a lie – this was a movie that was brilliantly put together, a shocking wave of violence and fury that made sense and introduced a shadowy world that co-existed with the one we know, a world where gold coins have currency and the rules of the Continental are everything.

The title character needs no establishment; the world fears him. You can see it in the weather, at the funeral, in every interaction he has with anyone that crosses his path. And, thing of it is, the world of John Wick does feel like a world. It’s lived in, a place where people play and breathe and kill. It’s a world the first and second movie only scratched the surface of, a world where John is already established, a force of nature unlike anything else in that place.

One question remained unanswered, though: how did John find himself in that world?

Greg Pak is looking to give us the answer. Yes, that Greg Pak, the writer of Planet Hulk and a list of incredible comics long enough to fill whole shelves worth of trades. He’s joining an angry young John fresh out of prison, a John with a lot of raw talent but an utter lack of refinement as he crosses over from the world we know to the one he will be a legend in.

That’s worth the price of admission alone.

John Wick‘s world is one that the movies only hint at, giving us just enough information for the sake of story but never pushing mythology over action. The mythology is there and that is enough for the need of story, but those of us with questions sometimes need those questions answered. What is the Book of Rules or the Three Bills? Who is Calamity? What was John like before the world hollowed him out and left behind the Baba Yaga?

Greg’s been paired with artist Giovanni Valletta, a name you might know from some rather moody work in the pages of Dark Horse Presents. His work shines when dealing with shadows and the nuance of expression, and this is one of those perfect pairings between an artist and a story. We’re expecting great things from this, and you should be, too.

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411

God of Comics – GWAR: Orgasmageddon #3

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 31, 2017

GWAR: Orgasmageddon #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Okay. Alright. Not quite sure how to start this, because GWAR isn’t a band or an experience so much as a time and place, a hellscape dimension between rock and metal and exists through sheer willpower and insanity. GWAR is, GWAR is not, GWAR becomes. It’s… it’s a thing.

GWAR kicked off in the mid-eighties, this metal band that took a look at the concept of pumping everything to eleven and said “fuck it, we can go higher.” The crazy thing is that they did and they made it work: GWAR has been touring ever since, using a unique blend of an alien invasion, science fiction, black magick, social commentary, political satire, and shock rock.

They are a time and place that overlaps with the reality we know and then conquers it, like some mad fae-touched nightmare locale that only brushes the world every now and again. They eat sacred cows for breakfast and put on a hell of a live show while doing it, covering screaming fanatics with blood and other juices without pity or remorse. You cannot escape a GWAR concert, but you might survive one. Buy the ticket and take the ride.

If you do, well, they regularly murder effigies of celebrities of every stripe, vivisecting American presidents and movie stars and pop singers and historical figures. They pull no punches: Al Gore and several popes have gotten the treatment. Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson. Bill and Hillary Clinton. Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump.

They parody literature, mythology, anything they can get their talons around, and they do it with a sense of style that is hard to stomach and difficult to deny. They are the people that got a music video called Phallus in Wonderland nominated for a Grammy through sheer force of will.

Hell, they have their own annual BBQ event, GWAR-BQ, that has been running since 2009.

Not bad for a band that used to open for something called Death Piggy.

All of this is to warn you that this comic is not going to be for everyone. This is likely to be the sort of thing that Garth Ennis used to write before he fell into a hatred of the medium and the people that read it while still drawing upon that hatred because this is GWAR and they are capable of anything. Read this at your own risk. Be aware of what you are getting into. We good? You ready? Great.

The modern incarnation of GWAR is doing a little bit of time traveling to hunt down and kill an old enemy that’s gotten loose in the timestream or something. What do you want? It’s a story about GWAR mixing one part revenge to two parts bloodlust. Along the way, you’ll get to see GWAR’s influence bleed into modern innovation and more figures of history are hunted down and killed for sport before GWAR stops by a morning talk show taping, because those talk shows were things they used to do while commenting on media hypocrisy on the topics of sex and violence.

What this means for you, dear reader, is that old GWAR is going to meet new GWAR, and one of the minds behind GWAR is helping to pen this comic. That would be Matt Maguire, aka Sawborg Destructo, who is bringing along Matt Miner of Liberator and Critical Hit notoriety. It’s a good fit, obviously. The art is being handled by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer and the mad orgy of GWAR itself.

This is going to be weird, but if you like the weird you are going to love this way too much.

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480

God of Comics – The Shadow #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 11, 2017

The Shadow #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

I’m never quite sure what to think of Dynamite Entertainment. On one hand, they do thoughtful looks at things like feministic theory set in a fantastic backdrop (the Gail Simone run on Red Sonja) or weirdly introspective time-travel heist stories about confronting the worst parts of one’s self (Miss Fury from a few years back) or weirdly deconstructive stories about the nature of the medium (the latest Vampirella run) or genre (the last Vampirella run). On the other…

Well, there’s a heavy nineties influence in a lot of their titles and some art choices that keep the Escher Girls going, so they have that going for them. They’ve started doing more thoughtful and less tits-and-ass and it’s working out well for them so far, resulting in an increasing amount of attention on their characters and brands. They keep things tight and self-contained, drawing on character history with respect to those characters and working to the strengths of the medium – in effect doing the exact opposite of what Marvel is doing.

It’s weird watching Dynamite be a considered voice in the industry while Marvel shoots itself in the face, but these are the times we’re living in and that ties directly in the comic we’re here to talk today.

The Shadow is an old figure, an icon that has been the subject of movies and television shows and radio plays and books and comics. He’s this weird amalgamation of different mythologies, taking the concept of the white savior adopting foreign powers, but then subverting a trope by directly confronting the emptiness of his own culture. He knows the darkness that lurks in the hearts of every living human being, including himself.

And there is darkness there: the Shadow is a sinister figure, a ghostly giant of a man with two pistols and weird tricks of the mind, a swath of scarlet scarf the only color he offers other than the black of his clothing and the darker black of his eyes. He’s a horror movie monster who haunts the other monsters, Batman taken to the logical extreme: an isolated nightmare that hunts the human monsters that prey on all of us.

This comic gets that. It pulls no punches – we’re given a lot of exposition here, but we get it from the perspective of someone the Shadow saved long after his guns have gone silent. She should have been the victim of a school shooting but the Shadow knew and she walked away. She’s a nurse who is heartbeats away from being a doctor and there’s a burned man who came in, naked and still fierce and strong, a man with no memory of who he might have been.

But she knows. She heard him laugh and that laugh still keeps her up at night – and she was one of the ones he saved.

Writer Simon Spurrier is a name you should recognize. He did the Spire over at Boom and we raved about that. He’s written some of the better Ghost Rider stories, some good Judge Dredd, the awesome and haunting Godshaper. He cuts to the quick of the mythologies he works with and pries out surprising tales that draw strange and relevant parallels to the world we live in and right from the start he’s stated his ambition here: to confront the darkness of political corruption, corporate greed, distractive culture… the grounded crimes that are far more likely to kill all of us than some mere supervillain.

Dan Watters is also on board, doing the writing thing. We’ve talked about him before, too, because he was the guy that wrote the Little Nightmares comic. He’s done some comics for Assassin’s Creed and is working on a tie-in for the latest Wolfenstein, too. This is a writer who knows how to delve deep into the guts of a mythology and pull out the best parts, and it should be interesting to see how he works with Spurrier; the two of them seem like the types that will bring out the best in one another. Time will tell.

Over on the art front, Daniel HDR and Natalia Marques have their work cut out for them: they need to handle flashbacks that harken to the classic tales, the modern era as it happens and as a flashback, and they need to make everything different enough that you can tell at a glance what’s what but still find a cohesive visual language for the whole. It’s a difficult challenge, but one the two of them handle with deft skill.

If stories like this are what Dynamite is moving towards, you better believe that you’ll be making mine Dynamite. Pick this up and find out why.

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352

God of Comics – Centipede #1

Uncategorized

July 10, 2017

Centipede #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Wait, what?

Really?

Someone is basing a comic on an old Atari video game, one of those titles that’s so old it didn’t really have a story so much as an objective? Ah, okay. Sure. What?

Alright. Centipede. This was a game where you controlled a block that could shoot other blocks as a longer block came closer to the bottom of the screen. You could shoot the longer moving block, but every segment that you shot became a place for the next long moving block that would try to get you. Also, there were other weirder blocks that would bounce around you. The instruction manual mentioned something about aliens, but how many other people read those things? Here’s a look because, well… I need you to see what this is.

… and that’s the game.

Someone saw that and decided to expand upon that story. Better still, they came up with a good way to do it: a terrifying creature from beyond the stars attacks the earth, growing in size as it devours everything in its path. Our hero, the man that humankind once called Dale, is the only thing that stands in its way, but here’s where this veers from your typical alien invasion story.

The Centipede has already won.

Dale’s world is gone and he might be the last human left. He’s certainly on the few survivors. He’s out to fight this thing not to protect our world, but to avenge it. There’s nothing else left for him, nothing else he can do except try to take out the monster that ended all life on Earth.

Max Bemis, who you might know from his recent run on Fool Killer and Worst X-Man Ever (no, it wasn’t the obvious choice. Good guess, though.) somehow came up with a way to apply story to a game so old that it had none. He’s joined by Eoin Marron, who you might know from the Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original.

Sometimes you just need to talk about and see a thing to believe it and this is one of those times.

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291

God of Comics – Red Rising #2

God Of Comics, Reviews

June 13, 2017

Red Rising #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)

A wave of dystopian science fiction has come out recently, but few come even close to the quality of Pierce Brown’s trilogy of Red Rising, Golden Son, and Morning Star. Not even close, not in terms of writing or character or concept or execution. It’s amazing, and if you haven’t read the books yet, well…

Check this out: a man and his people have been genetically engineered to be miners on Mars, helping to terraform that planet for colonization to save the whole of humanity. The work is dangerous and many of them die and there is risk involved. They live short and fragile lives for the betterment of our whole species, and when he’s caught breaking the law by going to a park with his wife, he and his wife are punished by whipping. His wife sings a song that’s been outlawed during this punishment, a peaceful protest that gets her executed.

The man goes to claim her body and is set for execution because of it, but he survives the execution. A group of rebels – the Sons of Aries – rescue him, but he wants nothing to do with them. Yes, what the authorities did to him and his wife is terrible, but they’re working for the betterment of the species, to make Mars habitable. The actions of the terrorist rebels will only make things worse, only slow things down so that his people continue to suffer until Mars is ready for habitation. Nothing they argue or show him can sway him from this, or so he thinks.

He is shown that the terraforming was completed centuries ago.

His people were left down there to die for the greed of others.

That’s the first few chapters of the first book. I’m not spoiling the rest, you really should go out and read them all because they are very much that good, and after that you should read the comics.

A lot of writers come to comics and do the easy thing, the adaption. I make that sound like a simple process but it isn’t, and I know that – the difficulty of translating a work from book to comic is hard and leads to the debate of which is better or deeper (read the Last Unicorn for an example of a work where it could be argued either way). Pierce Brown and Rik Hoskin took a different route, however, and decided instead to take a look at things from the perspective of a different character.

Think of the comics, then, as Ender’s Shadow and the books as Ender’s Game. This isn’t an accurate allusion but it is close enough to cover the general concept of what is being built here. Artist Eli Powell has his work cut out for him, bringing the rich tapestry of culture and science that Pierce Brown wove to visual life, and he succeeds at something that many would consider impossible.

Red Rising is a difficult book that looks at the complexities of revolution and how things change, about what a toxic society looks like and what can be done to fight it. It’s beautiful and challenging and amazing, and if you like the idea of stories that will make you think and inspire conversation then this is something you really should look into.

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