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Zein #2

Posted: Saturday, July 22, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"Origins"

Writers: Dr. Ayman Kandeel & Todd Vincino
Artists: Oritz
Publisher: AK Comics

The origin story to Zein is the most complex of those of the trinity of AK heroes. Zein's tale suggests that a more advanced civilization flourished in Egypt. A meteor forces the Pharaoh to construct thirteen life-preserving caskets for his children. One of those children is Zein, and the other is his no-good brother.

The father of the saved in addition to the caskets bestows to his son a gem, which acts as an oracle and a fount of scientific information. Some of the imagery the gem projects unfortunately seems prescient, when one looks at today's headlines.

Zein vows never to let that future come to pass. This future that may be furthermore creates the necessity of the AK heroes. If the heroes do not fight the good fight and preserve the more enlightened ideals that have flourished in this future, then the Middle East will once gain be destroyed by the forces of fundamentalist bigotry.

Possession of the gem becomes this story's focus, and the writers neatly tie in Zein's first public appearance and his origin with his brother's quest to steal the artifact. Though shown to be a scholar early in his life, Zein proves to be no featherweight. He battles his brother the old fashioned way, and in a way the brother will understand before finally clocking him with a thick stick and ending his menace hopefully once and for all.

The art this issue looks rougher and vastly different from the premiere, but there is still an interesting style to found in these pages. The artist's skill at drawing unique faces and lank body structures must be noted, and he keeps all the action scenes quite exciting. Recommended.



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