Fabien Nury

I Am Legion 6 (July 2009)

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No, Nury doesn’t pull it off or even right the course. Instead, he uses the lovely plot device of possession to utterly confound and get a visually effective conclusion.

It’s never clear, not once, how the vampires work in this story–or why they have to be the Dracula brothers, other than for effect and it’s a cheaper one–for example, how can they control people from great distances? Isn’t there a hub? If not, why….

Then there’s the ending. It’s totally counter to everything else in the issue. At least regarding the vampires.

With the war espionage, Nury just presses a reset button. It doesn’t make any difference. The events of the story–the dying, the suffering–have no effect on the world at large. He doesn’t even leave any characters to care about. Except the silly romance.

I’m rather disappointed. It’s a solid narrative exercise, but artistically barren.

CREDITS

The Three Monkeys; writer, Fabien Nury; artist, John Cassaday; colorist, Laura Martin; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Cody DeMatteis; publisher, Devil’s Due Publishing.

I Am Legion 5 (June 2009)

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Well, that turn of events is a little disappointing. I probably missed it earlier, but it’s not about the two Dracula brothers and a little sister, it’s about the two Dracula brothers, one of them inhabiting a little girl. The whole thing is a lot less compelling now… I’m not sure why.

Nury races through this issue. The first issue or two took a long time to read, there was a lot of information. This one just breezes by; even for an action issue, it’s rapidly paced.

I guess he made the little girl possessed in order to engender some more concern for her or whatnot, but it really just made me indifferent to the whole thing. As he approaches the conclusion, without really making any solid characters, Nury needs to create a compelling melodrama and he doesn’t here.

There’s always next issue, I suppose, to pull it back together.

CREDITS

The Three Monkeys; writer, Fabien Nury; artist, John Cassaday; colorist, Lance Martin; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Cody DeMatteis; publisher, Devil’s Due Publishing.

I Am Legion 4 (April 2009)

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I guess it hadn’t occurred to me the best way to clear up all the multitude of characters in I Am Legion was to kill most of them, which is what Nury does in this issue. The story’s in a higher gear now, racing toward, presumably, a cliffhanger in the fifth issue and some kind of conclusion in the sixth.

Nury’s turned what was once a war story with a lot of backstory and fantastical elements into a high speed action thriller and it works. I don’t care about Dracula being the villain, I don’t care the whole Nazi vampire project will probably be revealed as something nonsensical. It’s just moving too fast, good guys versus bad guys, good guys not being clear, Nazis pretty clearly being bad guys, to sweat the little stuff.

So the question becomes whether Cassaday does better with action than intrigue… I suppose he does.

CREDITS

Vlad; writer, Fabien Nury; artist, John Cassaday; colorist, Lance Martin; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Cody DeMatteis; publisher, Devil’s Due Publishing.

I Am Legion 3 (March 2009)

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One thing I refuse to do when reading fiction–whether it’s Michael Crichton or William Faulkner–is keep a list of characters. I’m not going to take notes when I’m reading fiction, not to help me along reading it.

I Am Legion, especially this issue, seems to require it. This issue is a war espionage issue (for the most part), detailing the British attempts at an attack and multiple German war agencies working against each other. It’s all very compelling–Nury does a great job of setting up a series of unlikable characters and working them off each other in ways to create some concern for them–but it’s nearly impossible to follow.

One problem is just the convoluted nature of a story with fifteen principals, another is the surprises Nury is writing around. And then there’s Cassaday’s artwork. He’s got one distinct character, everyone else blends.

I’m onboard though.

CREDITS

Vlad; writer, Fabien Nury; artist, John Cassaday; colorist, Laura Martin; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Cody DeMatteis; publisher, Devil’s Due Publishing.

I Am Legion 2 (February 2009)

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Now, I have to admit, I’m a little wary–if it turns out the little vampire girl is Dracula’s sister, I’m going to be upset. Why does Dracula always have to be a candidate for a secret villain?

Otherwise, the second issue of I Am Legion has got me completely onboard. It’s a war espionage thriller with a supernatural bent, the kind of thing mainstream American comics do really poorly and mainstream independent American comics (I’m thinking B.P.R.D. 1946) do pretty well. But Nury takes it to a different level here, incorporating not just the sense of history but running a modern procedural investigation through that historical lens as well.

Sure, it results in some minor anachronisms, but it also creates an extremely compelling reading experience.

As for Cassaday’s artwork… I wish I could say it was growing on me but it’s not. All his people look–confoundingly–the same.

CREDITS

The Dancing Faun; writer, Fabien Nury; artist, John Cassaday; colorist, Laura Martin; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Cody DeMatteis; publisher, Devil’s Due Publishing.

I Am Legion 1 (January 2009)

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I have almost no idea what this comic book is about. I mean, it’s about World War II, I can gather that much, but the eventual content… the story? No idea. It’s a mystery, a supernatural thing, a war thing with Nazis. A war thing with the French resistance… I don’t know. It’s got John Cassaday artwork and, while I’m not a big fan of his work or his covers (they’re so lifeless they put me to sleep), I guess it’s good.

The book came out here because of Cassaday, so at least he should be a compelling component and it’s certainly good looking in parts. It’s a little static at times, his design-based illustrating coming across a little much for me in what’s supposed to be a visual narrative… suggesting movement.

It appears, from the end of the issue, to be a detective story.

Good.

I like those.

CREDITS

The Dancing Faun; writer, Fabien Nury; artist, John Cassaday; colorist, Laura Martin; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Cody DeMatteis; publisher, Devil’s Due Publishing.

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