Thursday, 14 June 2012

New Beginnings - Prophecy #1

Whenever I see the name Ron Marz I automatically think of Witchblade or Green Lantern, so to see his name on a Dynamite branded comic certainly caught my eye. Admittedly my exposure and knowledge of Dynamite is very limited, but there are characters I already recognise such as Red Sonja.

Prophecy #1 is the first part of a seven issue crossover which also includes Vampirella, Dorian Gray and Dracula (to name but a few). What is also good is that this is completely self contained. Readers won’t have to worry about missing parts or story arcs in other titles or comics - it is a focused and direct event. In an age when we have seen Marvel trying to cash in on Fear Itself across over 20 different titles or DC using Flashpoint to push a multitude of “new” but limited titles it’s certainly refreshing to see a publisher which is looking after the story first.

The story opens in 1890 with a very well know fictional detective and his faithful ward Dr Watson investigating a murder with a distinct Mayan flavour to it. All in a day's work for the genius of Holmes, but then the why of it all opens another door. Skipping back in time we are introduced to our heroine, Sonja, and her nemesis Kulan Gath, both doing what they are best at. For Sonja this is fighting and for Gath it’s magic and witchcraft. This also includes a very special dagger that hurls Gath through time with Sonja in hot pursuit wanting his head. Unfortunately for her they become separated and she is thrust into the world of vampires.....
Marz has written a strong story that is easy to read. It can be a little wordy in places and normally this is something that I shy away from, but given whose involved (mainly Holmes and Watson) you can understand why. It fits the mythology of the characters well. When reading the Mayan section you get a complete feel for the old movie style filled with clichéd action and cliff hanger action which was really enjoyable. I did get a slight whiff of cheese from the story but it was just at the right level to make it fun without making you frustrated with the dialogue too.

Walter Geovani has provided the artwork for this issue. Every frame is packed full of details with a lot of attention paid to virtually every person in the frame. Even people in the background have been given extra touches and adornments that mean they don’t fade into the colour wash. This is certainly a piece of work that a lot of time has been taken over. Even when the frames open up into full page images the level of detail increases even further and they become softer and more lush.

As a new comic on a publisher people may not know this is a good introduction. As this miniseries goes on I think it will engage a lot of different characters, which some may find overwhelming, but it gives you an introduction to Dynamite’s roster.

A fun story so far and one which will open doors for sure.

Matt Puddy pulled off a last minute substitution.

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