Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zuda review Incarna/ With all this blood, how could it go so wrong?

Incarna was another September Zuda comic done by David Gunawan that finished 9th in the voting. Here is the synopsis: In 2013, the Demon Gate, a portal that connects our world with the underworld was opened, all the creatures and the spirits of the dark–realm are now able to cross through the gate, spreading terror and death upon mankind, turning the world into a land of chaos, a hunting ground with all humans as their prey. Now, after 60 years since the gate opened, the world has turned back into the dark age, technologies, cultures, civilization, everything has been swept away. Among the survivors, there are some people with supernatural abilities; some stands for humanity and salvation, and others stand for their own ambition for power, ignoring everything including their own humanity. Between those leagues there is a man who stands alone against the darkness, Gabriel Raves, he has a demonic power in his left hand. The origin of that power is still unknown, even for Gabriel himself. For years he has been wandering alone in search of his forgotten past, until he met Yuki Ishimori, a female-ninja with high level of exorcism skill, in search of her father’s murderer. Their different goal has led them into the same path, the origin of the darkness itself.

The slaying the dragon part of it was cool, everything else looked too Photoshoped

It starts off with a beaten bloody girl [Yuki] showing a suspicious amount of leg, along with a flashback/dream on a ancient warrior, finding a ancient sword, after slaying a dragon. The dragon slaying sequence had a nice gold tone to it, the rest of the colors of this comic were mediocre. When even the blood is bland looking, you need to rethink your color scheme. Yuki awakens and sees someone dead, in a panel that wasn't helped by the fake looking shadows, and bare walls. Screen 2 did have one very nice looking panel sequence, at the top where Yuki is depicted opening her eyes as she dreams/remembers the legend about the sword. On screen 3 you find out the dead guy is Yuki's father, and she runs to cradle him. Panel 3 reminded me of the Dragon Ball Z/Pokemon cartoons when a character is about to start dueling. The whole idea of a girl seeing her father cut down also reminded me of old Asian action films where that seemed to be a staple. Someone always seemed to be yelling out 'FATHER', or 'MOTHER' to someone who was about to assume room temperature -so that was a nice bit of nostalgia. Panel 6 looked like the creator was playing around too much with Photoshop when he colored it. This gets followed up with some nice childhood flashback panels, which tell me sepia-tone is the way to go for this creators future colorist efforts. Screen 4 reveals in a flashback that Yuki and her father were attacked by zombie ninjas. Their design makes for some very cool looking monsters, I was really impressed with that. The fight scene art looked stiff, and I was surprised zombie ninjas had red blood. Too many special effects like a see through blade swish took me as a reader out of the story.

A different story structure could have got a fav from me

In the next screen You see a cool blood soaked panel of Yuki killing ninja zombies, then rushing to her fathers aid. This is where things get wonky as hell. She sees her father stabbed through the chest by the new super bad villain, but his back is to the readers, we don't see the fathers face. In the last panel the father says: 'good-bye my child..." David might have been going for a serene acceptance of death look, but it came off weirdly unemotional. If readers could have seen his face before on this screen it might have made a difference. If he had been shown accepting he had been stabbed, stunned silent, or even in anguish that last panel on screen would have had more emotional panel. If that last panel had actually showed Yuki's father in some distress (since he screamed, got stabbed through the chest and all), it would have worked better. Screen 6 had some good sound effects, and some confusing art. I think some hooded demon creature just randomly showed up, and blasted a hole in the guy who killed her fathers chest (nice gore by the way), -which is weird- you'd think they would be on the same side??? Yuki attacks the 'hooded one', but he/it knocks her out then splits with the rest of the evil horde. Another cool black and white/gray tone flashback/forward to her in front of her father's grave stone??? It ends with some T & A shots of Yuki getting dressed up like Chung-Li before going out to get her revenge. Instead of all the dreams/flashbacks/flash forwards convoluting the cliff hanger ending, their could have been a more interesting way to do it. If the story had not gone the non-linear narrative route, it could have ended with Yuki on the floor covered in blood, the evil demon creature having gotten away/won. It would have been more of a done-in-one story which is rarer than the cliff hanger, and thus gets more appreciation from me. Leave things ambiguous if the girl lives or not, and cut back on some of the information in the synopsis. That would have been more impressive than a standard type ending. If you don't pull off all the time jumping well, you just end up with confused readers who can't get into your comic.

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