Current Reviews



Posted: Friday, November 11, 2005
By: Ray Tate

"Day of the Black Sun": Part III

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

Ater a one-page recap, we find the man of our mystery in the hands of the army. The writer teases the reader with what seems to be a definite conclusion to the mystery man's identity, but Van Hamme indicates there's still important things left unsaid.

The man known as XIII gains the name Calhoun, but this identity does not suit him either. Although much of what the new characters introduced say seems to fit. General Ben Carrington certainly can't be on the up and up when he orchestrates a scene that's reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's Eiger Sanction. His striking similarity to Lee Marvin also rings alarm bells.

Most unusual about the tale is how it switches from military espionage to a drawing room drama that's somewhat similar to Hammer's Paranoiac, one of their lesser known twisty little thrillers. What is surprising is that XIII remains amnesiac. Nothing jogs his memory as in lesser stories. This also keeps the reader guessing.

The European artwork by W. Vance with Romero and Jim Holdaway influences continues to make XIII an attractive purchase for that element alone. Whether XIII is fighting or figuring things out, all looks realistic and staged by an expert eye.

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