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XIII #2

Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2005
By: Ray Tate



"Day of the Black Sun" Part II

Writer: J. Van Hamme
Artists: W. Vance
Publisher: Alias

XIII really needs more hype. The title reprints a European strip ad provides excellent translation that neither sounds stiff or mechanical.

You would think that a comic strip would masterfully exemplify the art of decompression. Some do, but others like XIII do not.

XIII relates the story of a mystery man nursed back to health and flung back into the dangerous trappings of memories past. XIII has amnesia, and only the Roman numeral tattoo above the left-side of his clavicle identifies him.

This issue delves deeper into his mysteries. After a short recap of the events that led to last issue’s cliffhanger, XIII meets a plethora of adversaries, some who claim to be allies. These meetings lead to more questions and action, action and more action.

XIII moves and keeps the reader turning the pages. The book simply grabs you by the throat and shakes you out of comic book complacency. The writing crackles with energy and excitement. The artwork beautifully and realistically generates a visually compelling story and earns my highest recommendation.



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