V-Wars #5

5

Average

VWars5VC-minDespite containing a phenomenally explosive beginning which sees the likes of Miss Peabody’s Country Day School, the Veterans Administration Hospital and even Mount Rushmore literally blown to smithereens, Jonathan Maberry’s script for Issue Five of “V-Wars” is arguably a rather anaemic affair which focuses far too much upon Professor Swann’s anxious audience with the Crimson Queen rather than the nationwide retaliation sought against “every extremist blood cell [who] phoned in to take credit” for the horrendous bombings. Indeed, with the exception of a truly shocking scene depicting a haunted-looking Luther baring his neck so as to seemingly sate his baby daughter’s insane blood lust, very little actually appears to occur within this twenty-page periodical except talk, flashbacks, arguments and more talk…

Fortunately however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that “The Court Of The Crimson Queen” was unable to hold the attention of its audience, as the Presidential advisor’s increasingly confrontational dialogue with the metal-masked monarch provides a conspicuously captivating reading experience which simply unwaveringly holds the attention as successfully as the vampire queen’s reach is boastfully long; “We have more. That’s what I’m trying to tell you, Luther. We have more. Many more. We are everywhere. We have eyes everywhere.” It does though require any perusing bibliophile to wade through a seemingly unending array of lime-coloured text boxes, which only stop towards the comic’s end when Martyn shocking unleashes a rabid, satanically-eyed Jenny upon her truly mortified father and Swann is subsequently handed an evidential dossier on one of the genuine bombers.

Undoubtedly less graphic than some of Alan Robinson’s pulse-poundingly pencilled panels, but equally as surprising is the suspense author’s major revelation at the conclusion of this publication’s narrative. For vast portions of this book it erroneously appears plausible that Yuki Nitobe is the Crimson Queen, and like Field Team V-8’s Corporal Taurus Harper, she is actually an undercover vampiric agent who has been working for the Bloods all along. This flawed thinking seems especially convincing once the “foremost expert on the myths and legends of vampires” is reminded of his failure to stop the “deranged killer” Fayne from “doing more harm” and is drawn comforting the female journalist in a flashback. Yet when the magazine’s final scene is ‘shot’ the reporter is unexpectedly shown to be one of the ruler’s closest confidents rather than being the enigmatic sovereign herself…

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5

Average

Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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