Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What I Bought 1/26/2015 - Part 6

I'm surprised Adam Silver didn't fine Knicks' owner James Dolan for calling that fan an alcoholic who ruins his family's lives when the guy criticized Dolan's ownership of the team. It would have been an easy move everyone would have approved of, a smaller version of forcing Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers. It isn't like the fan was wrong. James Dolan is an utter failure at building a competitive team.

Klarion #2-4, by Ann Nocenti (writer), Trevor McCarthy (artist, #2, layouts and finishes #3), Sandu Florea (finishes, #3), Staz Johnson (finishes, #3), Fabrizio Fiorentino (artist, #4), Symon Kudranski (artist, #4), Guy Major (colorist), Pat Brosseau (letters) - The march of the fluctuating art teams. Always a sure sign the book is dying.

Klarion and Rasp fight a bit, but Rasp gradually gets it under control and retreat to the Moody Museum. Piper tries to get Klarion to understand there are consequences to his actions, but he doesn't listen, and he and Zell start getting closer. Meanwhile, the little tech thing Rasp got from Coal grows and works its way out of him and develops into a "Buddybot", a rapidly evolving A.I. that becomes whatever a person wants most. In Rasp's case, a girlfriend, but for other people they take the form of dogs, housekeeper's, whatever the person wanted, and they're eager to please, and people are eager to get them. Except Klarion, but when he starts trying to throw his weight around, he walks into a trap, and ends up in the crosshairs of a couple of government investigators of the paranormal (one of whom is the daughter of Piper's paramour, Noah). Faced with that, Klarion takes up Beelzebub up on his offer of a ride, and escapes, making the decision to leave Zell behind, but she gets dragged along anyway.

As you might expect, asking a favor of a devil doesn't lead anywhere good, and Klarion ends up in some magic bar, meeting with a black market arms dealing time traveler named Swag, who happens to be Coal's nanotech connection, and has some interest in Klarion being evil. Zell, Piper, and Noah find their way into the pocket, and try to talk Klarion away from Swag. And they fail miserably, as Klarion chooses power, though it remains to be seen what he'll do with it.

At one point in issue 4, Noah comments that he and Piper are offering Klarion something he's never had, which is a family, and that Klarion is finding he likes it. But I can't help noticing Klarion seems to pretty much choose the most selfish and/or destructive option at the end of every issue. He could have tried backing down when Rasp came after him, clearly not in his right mind, but he upped the ante. He could have chosen to try and free Zell and face down Agent Moody, but instead hopped in Beelzebub's car and bailed. It was only because of Zell's Petbot that she escaped. And then he chooses power, rather than try and prove he's right about the Petbot and wind up with Zell hating him. Except he might be about to destroy the thing anyway, which would still make her hate him, but hey, at least he'd be powerful.

I'm a little confused. There are a lot of moving parts, and I'm not sure where they're all going or if they're going to tie together. There's only two issues left, so odds are they won't be tying together. The whole Buddybot thing is kind of interesting, in that different people clearly want different things. Some people just want someone to listen, others need someone to tell them the things they desire are OK. Some people have contradictory desires. Actually, all people probably have that, and if the series were running longer, I'd be curious to see how the bots resolve that. So far, they seem content to just follow whatever instruction they receive first, like the alcoholic who told his to tie him to a chair if he went for a drink. But I would imagine it's going to get harder to make a person happy the more accustomed they get to the bot. Which I think is Swag's plan somehow. Coal seems like he doesn't have things nearly under control as he believes he does, and now Swag's trying to use the power he's given Coal as a lever against Klarion. I don't think either of them has any clue what the time traveler's game is, but neither do I.

McCarthy was doing a lot of cool things with his panel layouts in issue 2. There were a couple of pages where the backdrop was a floor plan of the Moody Museum, the panels corresponded to rooms marked with open doors, or with the name of the actual room. He seems to like tall, thin panels that move across the page like a series of irregular columns. It makes the book interesting to look at, because there's a lot of variety to the layouts. That's true of issue 3 as well, but with two other people besides McCarthy responsible for some of the finishes the figurework isn't as steady. Still, there's a nice build when he and Zell find Coal. The panels start out rigid, and the more Klarion sees of Coal's bots, the more suspicious he gets, and the borders turn into a swirling black mist, and the panels start tumbling toward the lower right corner. They start overlapping, the borders don't line up, and by the third fifth and sixth pages, the panels are moving in a huge circle around the pages, everything swirling down the drain into the escape route. It's nifty.

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