Current Reviews


Dead@17: Revolution #4

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2005
By: Michael Deeley

Writer/Artist: Josh Howard
Publisher: Viper Comics

This is the concluding issue of a mini-series I havenít read. Hereís what Iíve figured out: The demon Bolabogg has taken the form of a young politician named Alcasan. A militia fighting for God is trying to kill him. New militia member Sara has been kidnapped by Alcasan and James Freehorn, her biological father. From their conversation, it sounds like Nara was meant to be Bolaboggís bride. Sara meant to sacrifice herself to kill Alcasan, but her plans are quickly fubar-ed. Naraís friends and family come to her rescue. Ultimately, there is sacrifice, death, and the world is saved.

Iíve giving this a little leeway because Iím coming in at the final act. I got the gist of the story, which seems like Left Behind with bass-ass women. Nice hook. But there are a couple of sticking points. First, when Alcasanís got Nara on the floor, he starts yelling and challenging God. Nara is wearing a bomb, and the detonator is right next to her! I know villains are often distracted by their own egos, but letting a suicide bomber live without even trying to defuse her bomb is just incompetent.

At first, I was going to praise the story for having strong female leads, a tragic rarity in Christian-oriented fiction. Then I realized the two heroic women die. Both of them sacrifice themselves; one to save the world, the other to save a young mother and her unborn child. So the self-confident, independent women, (including the leader of the militia), end up dead, while another girl survives by virtue of being a mother. To be fair, Nara doesnít just die. She seems to be transformed into a spiritual agent or angel. Still, death hurts.

Oh by the way, the only heroic man in the story punches out Freehorn until Freehorn shoots himself. Thatís a classic sign of a B-movie: A white man who doesnít do anything, but is considered a hero by default.

The art looks like Michael Avon Oeming penciled by Jim Mahfood. It has a very iconic, underground feel to it. It also looks boring. Thereís very little in terms of background and detail. The coloring is just dull. Thereís not a wide variety of colors, and everything looks dark and muted. We have a lot of angular spaces filled with uniformly solid colors. Oeming has a very stark style complemented by a wide palette and gradations in tone. Mahfoodís cartooning is lively and energetic, even in black and white. This is neither.

Iíd like to see more comic books in which Christianity and Jesus play a larger role. Not stories centered around Christianity, mind you, but stories where God is a recognized and active force, or faith is an integral part of a character. This is just another end-of-the-world action story; a disappointment on nearly every front. I give this because it wasnít unpleasant nor painful to read.

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