Monday, 6 October 2014

New Beginnings - George Perez's Sirens ¢1

by Matt Puddy

You may have heard the name George Perez come up in relation to a comic or two in the past, for example the new 52 Superman launched in 2011 or prior to that Infinite Crisis or Teen Titans. Big titles for DC and more for Marvel in the past as well including a long and well renowned run on the Avengers with Kurt Busiek. If not - and you simply enjoy comics for the read regardless of who created them - then just know that Perez is a well established name in the business.

This is a brand new title written and illustrated by him, with Leonardo Paciarotti aiding with the colours. Perez even worked on the majority of the covers as well so this was a huge amount of work for him.

Sirens is a story that starts multiple times simply because there is a whole team to introduce quickly for this six-part series. Each one of them is spread across time amongst various tribes and groups of people, but all of them standing out as a strong warrior. In Rome, a violent gladiator and in Iceland, a mystic crone are just examples of who they are.

The time period seems to be inconsequential as these are powerful matriarchs and someone is trying to get them together. Why exactly isn’t so clear but when they are assembled in the same timeline (in the future), things aren’t looking so good. Firstly, not all the team appeared to come back in one piece, as they can’t exactly remember who they all are or where they are either. To top it all off they are also immediately in the firing line of Naida, a woman who has hunted and killed Sirens in the past and only sees them as sport. She's the top enforcer for Perdition and certainly has an axe to grind. 

Immediately as a reader you are aware of exactly who and what the threat is, complete with huge battle cruiser, and just as quick the issue ends with what could potentially be their firey space-born graves. Admittedly, we know it’s not or this is going to be a very short run (!) but what comes next?

The story moves very quickly but it has to so that all the scene is set as much as can be. This does have its downsides though as for all the pace moving through the book, some of the elements are lost. As a reader you only get to know that there is an intergalactic force enslaving the universe and that the Sirens are considered villains because of either the previews or the letters in the back. This does change the context a lot. 

All of the artistic style is very typical of Perez as well. There is a lot packed into every single frame and it has a certain late Eighties/early Nineties feel to them as is his way. That does mean that as a reader the amount of information you are given can sometimes overwhelm you and you find yourself concentrating on either the wording or the images, just not always both at the same time.

This fast first issue is full of intergalactic swashbuckling – alongside the historical issues, time travelling and also the potential time paradoxes along the way. Time will tell if this finds an audience, but personally I was a little underwhelmed when compared to George Perez's back catalogue.

Mat Puddy is ready to face another week!

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