Current Reviews

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Reign of the Zodiac #1

Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2003
By: Paul Brian McCoy



Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Colleen Doran (p), Bob Wiacek (i)

Publisher: DC

This is a gorgeous book to look at. No doubt about it. The level of detail and intricacy that Doran puts into this is amazing. Not only that, the design is some of the most impressive I’ve seen a long time. A lot of work obviously went into crafting this world and every page is beautiful. The people, the costumes, the creatures, the architecture, everything, it’s all well worth the price of the book. Wiacek’s inks are an interesting combination of light and heavy, allowing specific detail to jump out at the reader from all over the page. Artistically, this is fantastic. That’s why I’m buying the book.

The story, on the other hand, is pretty thoroughly clichéd. In fact, there’s maybe not one single element of the story idea behind this comic that couldn’t have been better. The narrative device of having dueling narration, one voice an impetuous youth, the other a sarcastic elder (or maybe they were both sarcastic – they tended to blend together after awhile), was tedious and annoying. This is the story of a world’s fall from paradise, of sorts. It is a story about the liberation of an underclass of slaves and the philosophy that kept them slaves. That sounds interesting, right? Well Giffen does not pull it off very well.

This is about the twelve houses of Eidolon. The annoying prince and his advisor are from house Virgo. There is to be a wedding to house Aries that will “bind two alliances in truce, each with each other.” The royals are haughty and spoiled, and the working class troops are dirty and sullen. However, the focus on a strange black bird on the final page bodes ill for the future. The whole thing is very much like it was written while Giffen was half asleep or bored or just trying to play out his contract or something. Thank goodness Doran shows some interest and talent toward world building.

Buy this for the art and cross your fingers that the story will catch up. That’s what I’m doing, and I don’t do that often. Almost never.



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