Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Classics - Xombi #1

Picking a "Classic" comic to review is a random process (at least for me).

For instance, I decided to tackle a Milestone comic because of the passing of Dwayne McDuffie, the creative force behind the line. I had the last box in my collection handy (because of last week's Zot! review), so I pulled out the first issue of the series that DC is about to bring back - Xombi.

McDuffie didn't write it (he's the editor), and I probably haven't read this since I bought it (the cover date is June 1994), so it was interesting to tackle it again.

All of Milestone's comics took a fresh angle on different storylines - and here the focus is on horror. This issue reads like a Vertigo comic - it's intelligent and loaded with dark ideas.

As written by John Rozum, the story follows David Kim, a scientist who has made some amazing breakthroughs in the field of nanotechnology. The text-heavy story explains his research in amazing detail.

But dark forces are on the move, and some truly strange creatures invade his lab to steal his research. They leave him mortally wounded.

His only hope is to use his nanites to repair the damage to his body - but the results are terrifying (though I can't say why without spoiling the story). He's also nearly immortal, as the nanites in his blood repair any damage.

The art by J.J. Birch is good, especially since he (or she) has to cover quite a few pages of characters talking in a lab. There are some rough edges here and there, but the characters are distinct, the layouts are fresh, and the energy is strong.

Because the series was written with intelligence, I forgave the violence and gore (not my favorite topics). This was a good series, though it wasn't perfect. The dialogue was overdone and the art was a bit rough.

But as horror series go, it was pretty good. It'll be interesting to see how the new version compares to the original.

Grade: B


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