Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

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The Witch King

The Witch King      The Witch King is a tease.

      Readers will leave the first issue of this new comic book series with more questions than answers.

      Of course, the secret to a successful storytelling tease is to leave the reader not frustrated and disappointed but wanting the answers.

      After defending his castle from siege, Gavriel the Witch King commands his brother be brought from his castle dungeons to face him.

      Do you want more?

      There is no more plot in this issue.

      Gavriel and most of the characters look like elves or devils or gnomes, and backgrounds and architecture suggest Earth.  Some of the characters are good, some evil, and all live in the past, present or future.

      Do you want to know more?

      There is no more setting or characterization.

      The art in The Witch King is dramatic, exaggerating everything from facial expressions to chest muscles. It smacks of fantasy. Do you want…

      Ah, you get the idea. But do you get enough plot, setting, and characterization to leave one hungry or angry?

      Dialog is believable, although sparse, pacing is a bit slow, and almost all characterization is suggested by the look of each character and their actions.

      You skirt the question, oh great reviewer.

      The art has its own visual personality: big, flamboyant and gaudy. Some panels are so packed with images that it is difficult to tell what is happening. Everyone except the artist reads from left to right, and from up to down, so readers will be forced to work hard to visually follow this story. Forced labor is not good in storytelling.

      The verdict, oh reviewer?

      Did you notice this review is a tease like The Witch King? It doesn't give a thumbs up or down for this title.

      Ain't that the pits.

      The Witch King #1/$3.50 & 24 pgs. from Phosphorescent Comics/words: Christian Read; art: Paul Abstruse/ available in comics shops and at

     Review by Michael Vance


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