Current Reviews


Kade #0 to #3

Posted: Monday, August 30, 2004
By: Egg Embry & Michael Deeley

Kade #0 to #3 review by Egg Embry

Story by Sean O’Reilly (Issues 0, 1, 2, 3 and Arcana Studio Presents) and Chris Sims (backup story in Issue 3)
Art by Sean O’Reilly (p & i Issue 0) Eduardo Garcia (p Issues 1 and 2) Ramses Melendez (p Issue 1) Ricardo Plata (i Issue 1) Nancy Parrazales M. (i Issue 2) Jose Galicia (p & i Issue 2) Allan Otero (p & i Issue 3 and Arcana Studio Presents) Chris Sims (p & i Issue 3)
Published by Arcana Studio and has Issue Zero online

DISCLAIMERIn an attempt at full-disclosure, Jessi Nelson, my studio mate, and I are doing an ANT short story for Arcana Studio in 2005 (or thereabouts).

I had one issue of KADE (number three) prior to meeting Sean O’Reilly at Wizard World Chicago. After encountering Sean, he loaded me down with copies of issues 1 and 2 (among others) to read and see what I thought of his baby. His enthusiasm for this project was readily apparent at the con so when I got back from WW, KADE was the first series I tried.

KADE is a fantasy tale set in a world ruled by a cult of demon worshipers. The story is told from the perspective of KADE, a man cursed to never feel anything physical. No heat, cold, pressure, wounds, nothing. As such, KADE does not socialize like the rest of us and is a man apart from the rest of his world. KADE can experience no physical pain, but also no physical pleasure. Because he is not the most cerebral of individuals, KADE is very isolated. Add to that being raised by monks, and you have a recipe for despair. And if fate had left him alone he would have simply slipped into obscurity… but, KADE happens to match the description of the man that is prophesied to overthrow Apollyon, the demonlord of this land. Apollyon is aware of KADE and bent on getting him before the man that feels nothing feels like usurping Apollyon’s throne!

And thus KADE’s life is… complex.

Apollyon knows he can’t just kill KADE outright because that would make him a legend to the people he oppresses. Instead, Apollyon has to discredit him before the masses. Making KADE a martyr would only create a symbol for the people to rally around, yet leave Apollyon with nothing to destroy. No, the demonlord has got to plan it out: force KADE to wrong the people and then Apollyon can wipe him out and appear to be the hero to the populace. So…

Step one – Kill KADE’s adoptive family.
Step two – Put the people between himself and KADE, so that KADE will have to abuse and wade through’em to get at Apollyon.
Step three – Step in and “save” the people from KADE.

Simple. Effective. And KADE plays right into it.

After Apollyon puts his plan in motion by killing KADE’s family, KADE himself just loses it and sets out to murder the demonlord in kind. Very eye-for-an-eye of KADE. And cause KADE’s a little headstrong… well, Apollyon’s plan really comes together!

KADE’s a straight up action comic. Lots of fighting, lots of mayhem. It’s simple, yet works well. The comic is not Dark Horse’s CONAN, but what is? Considering that KADE is an epic fantasy story in its infancy, I like it.

But beyond the story there is something more to KADE. One of the highlights of KADE is Sean O’Reilly’s conviction that anyone who wants to participate in his enterprise, may. Each issue has guest pin-ups and covers by professionals and fans galore! Sean wants to publish your work! If you have some beautiful art, he wants to get it out there. If you have some fan art, he wants to get it out there. If you’ve written something clever enough, he wants to get it out there. Sean is an EXTREMELY friendly publisher. Very cheery and easy to deal with! And he makes KADE a fun, friendly place to lose yourself in some escapist fantasy for just a bit!

For more on Sean O’Reilly’s KADE, try Arcana Studio. There you’ll find a four-page preview of issue one for your own review. Or you can try and read KADE #0 there.

For more on Egg Embry, try, DEAD@17: Rough Cut #1, or MORE FUND COMICS #1.

Kade #3 review by Michael Deeley

Writer: Sean O’Reilly
Artist: Allan Otero

Publisher: Arcana Studios

The story so far: Kade was born under a lunar eclipse with milk-white skin and coal-black hair. He was raised in a monastery where he learned his destiny. He is the prophesized Lord of the Order of the Black Sun. Kade is destined to save the Order from the curse of its current leader, the demon Apollyon. When Apollyon learned of Kade, he had Kade’s village and people destroyed.

Kade vowed to avenge his people. He is joined by the mercenary Ezra and her brother Erik. The trio visit Kamric, former leader of the Order. Kamric attacks Kade, then both are attacked by Apollyon. Kamric escapes, but Kade is captured. He is tortured and forced to denounce the prophecy before the gather order. Kamric frees Kade with a small group of dissidents, and they escape into the night.

Now: Kamric tells Kade about how he founded the order of the Black Sun, and the deal he made that corrupted the Order. They were cursed with the Dark Veil, which compels them to kill without compassion or remorse. Kamric leaves the group to find more allies. Kade and the other rebels are attacked by Apollyon’s demons. Erik dies defending his sister, Ezra. Kade had resented the prophecy that controlled his life. Now he thinks as long he can choose his motives, if not his actions, he may find his freedom.

This was pretty good. The art is solid and easy to follow. There’s not much character depth, but there’s plenty of action and emotion, which is typical of fantasy comics. I wish Kade got more time to consider his situation and his changing feelings about his life. Maybe there will be more of that in future issues. But based on this book, I like what I see. It’s not my style, but it’s not bad either. If you see it on the shelves, give it a look. You might like it.

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