Tuesday, 23 February 2016

I Hate Fairlyland 3 Review

I Hate Fairlyland  3

The faun of the dead are soon  returned to  just being dead, but just to make sure they don't undead again,  the village is  set on  fire.
Just to be sure, not to look cool or anything. 

Cloudia, takes this  quite well, with incredulous murderous intention that is and she decides to  go to extreme measures. Invoke the council  !
Said council  agrees  to  do the unthinkable  !!
No, not that  !
Invite another  child in to Fairyland  ! 
Which will lift  the  invocation that makes Gertrude invincible  and turns her in to a resident.
And residents can  be hurt and killed. 

Meanwhile Gertrude falls down a  ravine,  lies in a  coma for a year. While Larry builds  a  house, raises a family  and gets divorced  before  Gertrude wakes up in time to come face to face with the new child  !
Things go downhill from there.  

Artist\writer : Skottie Young
Colors : Jean Francious Beaulieu
Letters : Nate Piekos

Notes : I have the Fuck Fairyland cover again. 

Review :

Oh, fluffing hell, look who is back Gertrude and Larry !
Issue 3 is  here !
And as usual, I have the Fuck Fairyland, variation cover.
I might as well call this series, Fuck Fairyland, now. (  Apparently the series was supposed to be called Fuck Fairyland. But that might have been a bit too crude, ..then again knowing this series. )
We begin as we usually do with this series, with scenes of unimaginable violence off screen  and a narrator getting  killed in the conflagration.  

Unfortunately, this is the third time we only get to see the fallout of a huge fight with everything being  dead
The cliffhanger of issue 2 lied to us !
Again  !
Curses  !!!
But after that and the maiming  and killing of yet another innocent narrator, the story actually gets moving again  !
Even Cloudia  can't really believe Gertrude got away  ...again.
So higher powers  are invoked.
A convergence of the council  !!!!!

Which take  place in a  talking tree, with a rather uppity and high  opinion of it self  who only allows Cloudia  to meet the council,  whence the  password has been spaketh ! 
It's pizza btw.
The tree it self, can't help but remind me of the great Deku tree, from The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. Which is probably what Young was going for anyway.    

Anyway, after entering the great and  bombastic Barque, we see the council  !
Who are a bunch of weirdo's and losers and the flying  pig or maybe a brother from the one whom we saw earlier in issue 1.
We also get  an explanation why Gertrude is  invicbrue  !  ..err invincible. 
She is a guest.  
And no guest shall be harmed, (  outright  ) in Fairyland. 
So Cloudia proposes to do something about this, by inviting another child in to  Fairyland.
What's really amazing is that it took them  TWENTY SEVEN  YEARS  !!!  to think this up. 
But then again, it is taking Gertrude, TWENTY SEVEN YEARS  as well to find the damn key, so it all balances out. 

This may explain what happens after this sequence, where Gertrude falls of  a tree  bridge and lies there for upward of  a year ! 
The sequence that follows  is either brilliant or lazy padding.
Possibly both.  

8 pages of  two vertical panels, which show  the same image of Gertrude lying out cold, possibly even more brain damaged. 
While  the passage of time is shown with Larry building a house in the background, raising a  family. 
Getting divorced, setting fire tot he house and getting righteously drunk.  
Before Gertrude wakes up when she hears obnoxious saccharine singing.
Gertrude also for some reason grows a fetching green beard. 

Nor am I sure  if this is a brilliant way to show that  at least a  whole year has  passed and to show Larry's laiz a faiz attitude towards Gertrude. 
IE, he cares about her to a degree, but not too much. 
Or if its just laziness by Skottie Young  and  just there  to  set up a lame punch line, when Gertrude wakes up.
The passage does eat up  8 pages of the generous  28  page count.  

And then we get a new character
Happy the new child  and she  waltzes right in to Gertrude  ! 
It's been just a day and she is already on her way to  finding the key. 
...Gertrude  responds to this as well as  can be expected  and gets a  rainbow  beam of death to the face.

I already want to strangle Happy. She is overly happy, bubbly and annoying. I am sure that was the point and that she is meant to be overly annoying .
 ( Her design is also vaguely rabbit like and I don't like rabbits, cartoon or otherwise. ) 
As such she fits PERFECTLY  in Fairyland. 
Unlike Gertrude, who was the odd one out  from the word go.
It's a bit suspect that Happy has so little difficulty in finding the key. 
Either Gertrude  is really bad at map reading. 
She had gotten almost zero help. 
Or Fairyland is conspiring against her and giving Happy a bit too much help in locating the key. 
I think that is much more  likely.   

The ending is .....oh. 
Well I didn't see that one coming. 
Gertrude looks very, very, very much  dead  (SPOILERS  !!! )  and  quite mangled too. 

And that's how issue 3 ends ! 
So will Gertrude come out of this uhm  ...alive  ?
Will she get out of it at all  ?
Well she better bloody do so, this mini is  5 issues long  and I want to see Happy getting an axe to the face ! 
I hope Young will provide. 

The ending is interesting, not just because Gertrude seemingly snuffs it. 
But also the implications, does this mean that the enchantment that  protected her from harm is lifted already  ?
Or can one visitor  harm another visitor  ?
It will be  interesting to see how Gertrude gets out of this one. 
Hopefully she wont  just  show up alive and well  at the start of issue  4

But we'll see when I get my hands on 4. 
Issue 3  is  more of the same  of what we got so far in this series.
Delirious fun with  a manic pace, as Gertrude runs roughshod through Wonderland again. 
However this time around the story is actually advanced beyond  general  fairytale character mutilation.  ( Which  is still great fun, because  most  people  will get  fed up with the  overly saccharine  sensibilities of  Wonderland analogues ) and we get some  awnsers. 
And well  Gertrude apparently dies, so there is that. 

How well will this series cope  with a dead protagonist ?
I'm sure we will find out.   

Radio Silence

I have been sick the last  couple of weeks.
Got hit by  a prticularly nasty flu and it's only recently clearing up. 
Haven't really felt  up to  posting much reviews, because of that.

There will be new reviews in the near future. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Savage Dragon 8

The Savage Dragon 8  

Summary  :

Dragon  spends  an undisclosed amount of time, impaled on the  church spire before he manages to work himself off it, in silence and then disappears  in the  alleys below.
When he is finally found, it's unfortunately not by  any of his friends or colleagues but by Hellrazor and Cutthroat. 
Whom still  have  a score to settle with  Dragon.  

Credits :
Writer\Artist : Erik Larsen
Letters:  Chris Eliopolous
Colors: Reuben Rude
Editor : Jannie Wong

Josh Eichorn title : Welfare Mother 

Notes :
The letter page has a  heartfelt eulogy by Erik Larsen about the passing of Jack Kirby on 6  Feb 1994.
This issue was released in march  1994.
February was skipped, presumably out of respect for Kirby. but  this was never clarified or even mentioned. 

Review :

Surprise Dragon isn't dead  ! 
Yeah not much of a surprise considering the title has been running for  23  years and is now at  212 or so. 
But back in 1994, anything was possible especially because Larsen seemed to be willing to  go in to any direction and Frank was killed off in  issue  7. 
If not even Frank is save, who is  ?
And the extent of Dragon's healing abilities have not yet been established. 
The comic does take its sweet time to get going though and  devotes 5 silent pages to  showing how Dragon  hoists himself of the spike.  And falls down  the roof in the snow in excruciating detail.
Before it launches in to the next  new subplot. 
Frank is alive and well  and on a plane  ! 
This is another long simmering  plotline, that like the previous Frank subplot, won't linger too long and overstay its welcome. 
Right now however, it's a what the hell moment. 

The officer Dragon is missing establishing shot, followed by  half a page of  his colleagues talking.  Is a framing device and an establishing shot Larsen will reuse countless times. At least all the way up to issue 52 or somewhere in that region, 
and I am sure he has reused it  after that too. 
There will also be a gradual tonal shift in this set up, but we will discuss that as we get there.
Right now, Dragon and Frank are missing and presumed dead  nobody has any inclination where they could be and it's all doom and gloom.
The news reporter plot device is also back, but this time with the twist of showing  people responding to the news as well. 
Not Aunt May, err Mrs Schwartzblatt is sitting tearfully in her hotel room. 
Mrs Harris is a bit too pleased with her self about the news. 
And we find out that Freak Force has been assisting the police. 
The news also name drops Mace, a character who will be  important in the upcoming  issues and not Jameson get's a mention too. 
These two  pages  are mostly set up to  show the  ongoing  subplots or introduce new ones. Just as issue 4 did, before we jump back to Dragon's plight back in the alleyways. 
But here is the problem.  

The comic established that it's been two weeks. 
I doubt Dragon has been dangling off  the  spire of a building, as a gaudy green christmas decoration for two weeks, but he has been lying around in alleyways for two weeks. 
And in that time nobody saw or found him  ?!
He is a green cop with a fin on his head  and a huge upperbody. He isn't  exactly inconspicuous. 
And how exactly did he keep himself alive during these two weeks  ?
It's obvious that  time has passed for Dragon as well, he managed to bandage what is left of his wrist and is developing a beard. 
But other then that, he hasn't even managed to build himself a shelter or anything.
How is he still alive after 2 weeks of nothing ?
Because the comic doesn't make it  clear. 
And Yes, I know this might be a nitpick, but  it would be easier to believe he could survive in an alleyway in the middle of a snowstorm, for a few days not two weeks. 
And off course when he is finally found, it's by Cutthroat and Hellrazor ...brilliant.  

Let's talk  about Dragon's colleagues for a bit because so far I haven't mentioned any of them very much.
After two weeks they  finally decide  to  get offa their asses and actually look for him. 
Another problem with the two week time frame, it makes his colleagues look lazy and irresponsible.

Of all the people  to  put a search party together, I wouldn't have expected Howard Niseman to  be the one. 
He is a blowhard, a braggart. A bigot and a racist, but at times he  does show that he  can be  half decent human being.
Just don't expect it too often. He is prejudiced against the freaks and isn't especially fond of  other minorities groups either. 
William Johnson, I don't have much to  say about him at this point to be honest. Right now he doesn't have much of a personality, other then laid back go getter.  He will develop more of a personality later on, but right now like Rita and Phil he is just background.
Speaking of Rita. 
Rita Metermaide that is, ..yes seriously.Other then her name  and cleavage to make your back ache, Rita is again not much of a character. Other then supportive of Dragon. 
Later issues will reveal that she is  deeply insecure about her self  and her capability to hold a relation. 
And finally Phil Dirt, there is a pun in there that I am sure eludes me. 
Phil is gay and Larsen wisely chooses not to  make an issue about this or make Phil, other then his  possible punny name, overly flamboyant or turn him in to a gay stereotype. 
He has a crush on Dragon and other then Niseman's typical reaction you could expect  from a character like him, nothing more is made of that.
And that great as far as I am concerned. Phil is gay and he is not defined by him being gay.
It doesn't define his personality  he is a police officer that happens to be gay and the comic doesn't dwell on it or beat you over the head with it.  

Back to Dragon himself. 
Cutthroat and Hellrazor,  no coincidence I am sure, that they find him considering Cutthroat is the first superfreak Dragon took out. And Hellrazor  nearly killed him  at the end of issue 2 of the original mini,  continue to rough Dragon up until he decides to fight back. 
And how easily he deals with the pair of them, -shattering Cutthroat's blade and breaking his leg and wrapping Hellrazor in the tatters of his  coat before punching his lights out-  makes  you wonder why he even ran in  the first place. 

But we go back to the two week time frame and  then things start to unravel.  
Dragon fights pretty good  for a half dead, starving, possibly dehydrated man. 
He is even able to take multiple slashes from Hellrazor to the face and chest, before he  collapses again. 
His hand is mangled, his wrist still a bloody stump and the hole in his chest is stil there.
And if Dragon is able to take on two superfreaks,  (  adrenaline rush off course not withstanding)  why was he content to lie in the snow and not seek help on his own or at least get out of that alleyway, and stagger to a police station or  ER ?  

After Dragon collapses again,  it's Rapture that finds him,  being sensible enough to at least wear a coat  and some pants in this weather. 
How the hell did she find him ? We didn't even see her or Freak Force starting a search. 
Eh comics I suppose ? 

Issue 8  is a decent read and it awnsers the question about Dragon's survival.  ( Off course he is still alive. It's his name on the book. )  But the narrative starts to strain  under the two week time frame and  it all comes apart when you think about it too much.
Two weeks is too damn long, especially when you consider the ease with which Hellrazor Cutthroat and eventually Rapture find him. 
Should have been 5 days at best.  
The issue it self is perfectly fine, it's just the two weeks time frame that makes the story problematic.
But they can't all be winners. 
On to issue 9.