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Zein #3

Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"Rise of Anubis"

Writer: Marwan El Nashar
Artists: Jeremy Rapaak, P.C.(c)
Publisher: AK Comics

Zein carves a new story out of an ancient Egyptian menace. My initial observations of Zein being more of a gadgeteer than a powerhouse seem to be mistaken. Zein while in the habit of using gadgetry also unleashes a special weapon that was introduced last issue to devastating effect. He also appears to be much stronger than a human; though this strength could be a result of an exo-skeleton enhancement yet to be uncovered in the pages. In any event, I'd still place my money on Jalila to win in a fight between the two heroes, but Zein would definitely give her a bruising of more than ego.

Zein this issue gains a much more established secret identity. Out of costume, he masquerades as Professor Amgad, "expert in abnormal psychology" at Origin City University. This identity serves as an excellent means to keep him informed of all the strange goings on that Isis, his keenly named computer, cannot locate in hard data.

After assessing an archaeologist’s now dubious mental state, Zein wastes no time. Under Jeremy Rapaak's pencils and inks, he quickly goes into action. For some reason Rapaak lends more manga to his style in Zein than present in Aya: Princess of Darkness. This does not prove to be a problem visually even for somebody like me who hates manga, but I have to say. Zein's hair? No. The manga angular goofy poofiness doesn't work with Zein's hair.

Rapaak makes up for Zein's nonexistent hairstyle by combining forces with colorist P.C. to fully manifest an Egyptian mythological nightmare. Their Anubis proves to be a striking interpretation of the God of the Dead, and their sublime tech benefits from a singular look.

The story in Zein is slight but fun. The solid artwork nicely keeps the pace crackling to the end, and the monster's an inventive concoction that relies on mythological descriptors that still work in modern times.



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