Wednesday, September 14, 2016

BleakWarrior, X's For Eyes, Promethea

Alistair Rennie's BleakWarrior is like if Soul Calibur were a porno directed by Jodorowsky. 

And it is also like if there was an x-rated Highlander vs. Mortal Kombat comic book drawn by Simon Bisley during an existential crisis.

And also like if you got your weirdest friend drunk on cheap tequila and asked them to describe what He-Man would be like if it were dirty and a bit Shakespearean. 

Want to hear more about it? Check out the podcast Bad Books for Bad People, in which Tenebrous Kate and I discuss the finer points of the book.

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This is a book I can accurately describe in a single sentence: Psychotronic Venture Bros. vs eldritch beings of cosmic caprice. 

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Promethea begins as a more mystical Wonder Woman-esque comic about a college student who finds herself imbued with the might of a goddess, but the story becomes a soap box for Alan Moore to talk about his view of the occult in the middle of the run. The story picks up again toward the end of the series, but never fully recovers--too much lost momentum, character and plot eclipsed by meditations on the Kaballah, the tarot, the nature of divine archetypes, and an uncomfortable amount of Crowley-wank. 

Oddly, if the series is derailed a bit by Moore's occult Wonderland sequences, it's also marred by its later adherence to the comic book trope of the crossover; the introduction of Tom Strong and his crew felt both too in-genre and like a stopgap for a diminished narrative focus. 

Williams and Gray's art remains astounding throughout, easily worth the price of admission. The range of styles and aesthetics that are woven into the story are remarkable; you will return to these pages just to stare in awe.