Soloman Kane

Solomon Kane 5 (February 2009)

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Finishing this series–I’m somewhat convinced Guevara used the whole thing as an audition piece to Marvel, in case they ever relaunch Monster of Frankenstein–I can’t figure out, first, why I wanted to read the sequel or, second, how I could forget how awful the series ends.

I mean, if the fourth issue was the high point, this issue is absolute nonsense.

Allie has this strange approach to chapters–the chapters finish and start, usually, in the middle of the issue. But they’re continued from the previous issue, not the start of the current one.

Maybe it reads better in trade, but I doubt it. Not with the pacing such a mess.

The best part of the issue is when it ends, though not really. Sure, the Solomon Kane story ends. But then Dark Horse has this little comic strip with a Jewish joke from Robert E. Howard.

Class.

CREDITS

Writer, Scott Allie; artist, Mario Guevara; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Patrick Thorpe, Randy Stradley and Philip R. Simon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Solomon Kane 4 (January 2009)

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Allie does an all action issue and it’s easily the best Solomon Kane so far. He actually manages to surprise with the big revelation–the bad guy might be a were-bear devil worshipper, but there are four more demons flying around and, presumably, Kane will fight them.

But Allie also makes everyone but Kane, his sidekick and the baroness completely evil. All the baron’s men? Super evil. I’m not sure if Allie realized it but he’s literally demonizing Germans in this series.

And Kane does realized he’d been fooled here. But the scene’s too short; Allie doesn’t have the framework in place for Kane to be introspective. The scene can’t work in these conditions.

Then there’s Guevara’s contribution. Nothing like a book where the protagonist looks like Boris Karloff with long hair. I can’t believe Dark Horse intentionally went with such an off-putting look for the comic.

It boggles the mind.

CREDITS

Writer, Scott Allie; artist, Mario Guevara; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Patrick Thorpe, Randy Stradley and Philip R. Simon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Solomon Kane 3 (November 2008)

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Finally, the comic starts to get interesting. And how does it get interesting? Allie gets as far away from Kane as possible. Instead, he spends almost all of the expository dialogue scenes–and action scenes (there’s really not much action in Solomon Kane, it’s usually just a bunch of people talking, maybe some trickery if the reader’s lucky)–with Kane’s sort of sidekick running around with the lady of the ominous castle.

We also find out it’s an ominous castle because its baron is an immortal devil worshipper. He’s a devout devil worshipper though, so when Kane thought his Muslim bride was evil and he was good… well, Kane can determine whether people worship the devil or not, only if they do it devoutly. Not a great superpower.

The art’s real weak this issue. The baroness (or whatever her title) doesn’t look the same from one panel to the next.

CREDITS

Writer, Scott Allie; artist, Mario Guevara; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Patrick Thorpe, Randy Stradley and Philip R. Simon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Solomon Kane 2 (October 2008)

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I’m not sure I can think of another comic book as reread-unfriendly as Solomon Kane. Allie’s script is all geared for the revealing the mystery. Nothing interesting happens along the way, just the setups for the various cliffhangers.

I suppose Kane not being a particularly dynamic character has something to do with, but he’s also a lame protagonist. He’s a holier-than-thou know-it-all who doesn’t even properly identify the bad guy in the story.

He’d be more interesting as a vampire.

As for the art, Guevara starts the issue a little bit better but it quickly descends into shoddiness. He’s got multiple panels, close-ups on characters, where it’s clear the art work isn’t, first, not inked pencils and, second, not even a complete drawing.

It looks like Dark Horse was trying to find the poverty row Cary Nord.

They succeeded.

Gravity alone moves the book.

CREDITS

Writer, Scott Allie; artist, Mario Guevara; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Patrick Thorpe, Randy Stradley and Philip R. Simon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Solomon Kane 1 (September 2008)

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I’ve read Solomon Kane before, but wanted to reacquaint myself before reading its sequel (I’ve also since seen the movie, which I have an affection for).

I remember the series goes downhill. Or it goes uphill.

I guess I don’t remember it very well.

I did remember the Mario Guevara artwork pretty well… how it looks like Guevara turned in his pencils and they colored those. They didn’t even up the contrast to fake inking.

It’s a mildly interesting book–oh, wait, now I remember. I thought it was going to be an “old, dark house” story and it doesn’t turn out to be one. There’s a lot of drama, a lot of angst for almost everyone but Kane, who Allie writes as inhuman. The pale coloring only makes him seem more like a zombie.

I think the first time I read it I thought he was a vampire, actually.

CREDITS

Writer, Scott Allie; artist, Mario Guevara; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Patrick Thorpe, Ryan Jorgensen, Randy Stradley and Philip R. Simon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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