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Rakan: The Lone Warrior #4 & #5

Posted: Friday, December 15, 2006
By: Michael Deeley

each

Writer: Todd Vicino
Artists: Rafael Kras (#4), Rafael Albuquerque (#5) (p), Rafael Kras (I)

Publisher: AK Comics


Rakan was raised by a sabretooth tiger after his family was murdered. As a young man, he was trained by a great wizard who taught him martial arts, wisdom, and tolerance. Rakan and his ďbrotherĒ sabretooth now travel the world searching for the late wizardís daughter. In these issues, he rescues a captured princess with secret plans, then joins an infamous den of thieves for reasons unknown. That last adventure is continued next issue.

Well, these arenít so bad. The character of Rakan is clearly a mix of Conan and Ka-Zar, more Conan, actually; the tiger doesnít appear at all in issue #5. Issue #4 is a pretty standard revenge story. Youíll figure out the twist soon. Issue #5 is more intriguing if only because Rakan is clearly manipulating the thieves for his own purposes. The plots are familiar, but done well.

The dialogue feels stilted at times. This tells me weíre reading a direct translation of the original Arabic language, as opposed to ďlocalizationĒ into common English. (See Keith Giffenís translation of Battle Royale for a good example of this). There are times when the writing is redundant or overly descriptive. I donít know if that comes from the original script or the literal translation. The stiff, overly-formal writing style is typical for barbarian comics. So maybe the writer is writing in that style on purpose. If thatís the case, he needs a little more practice.

The art style reminded me of Arcana Comics, 100 Girls, and even Liberality for All. The heavy inks and bright computer coloring seem common for high-end independent comics. Do these publishers use the same printing and coloring technology? Are new artists and inkers learning the same techniques and styles? Despite the similarities, this art is better than most from those sources. The action is easy to follow, though there are a couple of characters that look alike.

Thereís not much more I can say about this comic. Itís not different enough to hook me. Itís not done terribly, but itís not exceptional either. You can see it for yourself at AK Comics, or buy it for $2 an issue at Drive Thru Comics.



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