Monday, March 9, 2009

Children of Armageddon Zuda review/ It's not the fall it's the cliche that kill's you

Children of Armageddon by Chris Meeks is fighting it out at Zuda this month with a current #1 rank.
Here is the synopsis: Eric Gray remembers very little about his life before the day he plunged twenty stories from the window of a New York City building. He remembers the orphanage but nothing of where he came from or who sent him there in the first place. All he knows for sure is that he miraculously survives the fall, leaving a massive, smoldering crater in the middle of the street where he fell. Soon after, the military becomes involved, covering up the incredible incident as a terrorist attack, and sending Eric away to an undisclosed location. Now, nine years later, Eric finds himself working for the government as a secret agent, his first mission leading him to Istanbul, Turkey to recover a mysterious briefcase. The contents of which will lead him on a journey to a Secret Defense Project that holds the answers to his disturbing origin.
Last year (I think) Grant Morrison opened an issue of Batman with a character falling to his death. Think it was the Joker, I could be wrong -that's not the point here anyway. The point is opening with a character falling to their death is such a great comic book story opening. It really goes a long way towards grabbing you into a story. A kid is falling to his death, yes Mr. Meeks you have my interest. I just hope you don't have some kind of R.I.P homage planed otherwise I'm just going to end up blanking it all out.

I'm done referencing Batman for no real reason here -I swear.

The colors are very well done, and the letters are very readable. The art gets a little less impressive towards the middle, but on the whole top notch. The story starts off very well (super powered kids have been done before, but not done well that often), but then nose dives into cliche country with 19 year old Eric.
By the title 'Children' I think it's a safe bet their are other super powered young people around, with a 5 to 1 shot one of them is a cute super powered babe fighting on the other side. "Make my arch nemesis a blond Russian please, or better yet twins" you see where I'm going with this.
By the title (I like the title a lot), I'm guessing Eric and company are going to be trying to save the world? I think this set up might have worked better for a young kid/teenager than a nineteen year old.. Yes college aged kids have their causes, but their just not a sympathetic as your average 12/13 year old. If Eric hadn't been aged you could have gotten a double, a triple play off the words in the title. If children of Armageddon doesn't just refer to the future, but also his origin. Given the choice: between a young super powered kid trying to save the world and maybe get his first kiss, vs. a super powered almost 20 something out to save the world and maybe get laid. I'd rather go with the younger kid's story I've already read the R rated Ultimate Justice leagu-- I mean Supreme Power.
That's really the vibe I got at the end of this comic Hyperion: without the supporting cast except for the Air-Wolf extras.
It could be and you probably do have any number of twists planned for the story. Nothing wrong with wanting to put your own spin on a really superpowered nice guy either. In any case the last few screens don't take away that much from the rest of the comic.

Some nifty examples from the comic that show what I mean:

Let's start with screen 1. You know I love the opening the text box thought balloons all go along with what any kid who has played Superman thought just before they hit the ground. The text here was damn good, and went along well with the overall screen composition.
Screen 2 Loved the full page shot for the effects of the crash, and of course you do a fantastic job with the backgrounds.
Screen 3 The composition here was amazing. I loved the pull out from the shocked kid Eric's face, and the silhouette that turned into the General.
Screen 7 I really enjoyed the layout of this screen most especially panels 2 and 3. You got some real memorable imagery here. The fade in 'Eric's' to show him waking up was also a nice touch.
Screen 8 Giant robot smackdown coming up, nice action cliff-hanger to end on.

Like I said before the untrustworthy General with the suspicious character seems pretty typical and is a sub plot that doesn't interest me.
3/5 stars for now, but that could change.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the comments RKB. It's not as super hero-y as people might expect. It actually goes into Lovecraft territory near the end. And again, thanks for what you said.

    I'm really hoping to finish the story, which, I hope, surprised folks on the twists and turns it takes.

    Plus the art is going to stay top notch throughout.