Suspended Animation Suspended Animation
by Michael Vance & Jon Suter

980227b.gif (16910 bytes)"I can cast my magic under the guise of medicine helpful to millions." sneered the half-naked witch. Isobel Grierson. "And through the evil thoughts of those unsuspecting multitudes, construct a bridge between this base world and the plane of the Great Ones

"...then bring Hell to Earth."

Well, maybe, although you'd think a female hellion just reconstituted from a mass of quivering, bloody guts would know.

Isobel has been brought back from the dead to open a doorway that was shut by a hero with a sort of octopus on his head. He closed that doorway centuries earlier so that the monstrous horrors that exist in the black abysses of space and time cannot vacation on earth.

The hero with an octopus on his head has also been brought back from the dead to keep that doorway shut.

Talk about yer eternal dilemmas!

Okay. I will.

My dilemma is that I can't decide whether to recommend The Hammerer not. There are elements that I really like and really detest in this new comics series.

So, what should one do when stymied by indecision?

Let's make a list.

For: Interesting monsters. Intriguing mood and setting. Lots of plot twists and attention to detail. Realistic dialog. A well-rounded knowledge of traditional horror icons. Overall good visual storytelling. Restraint in graphic sexual and violent images. Nice letters pages.

Against: Poor human anatomy. Too much gore. The plot is derivative and detail is unoriginal. Awkward attempts at humor. Too many abrupt scene changes. Shock instead of suspense. Not enough restraint in graphic sexual and violent images. Stereotyped characters.

So, is this comic worth buying?

Well, maybe, although you'd think a qualified reviewer well versed in the mass of published horror comics would know. MV.

The Hammer #s 1-3/22 pgs., $2.95 ea. from Dark Horse Comics. Written and drawn by Kelley Jones. Sold at comics shops and by mail.



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