Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Grant Morrison’s dark origin story of a young and gritty Santa Claus continues with Klaus #2. Klaus’ takes his next big step towards being the classic version of Santa by delivering toys to children and spreading yuletide cheer against the wishes of the evil Baron and his greedy son, Jonas.
Klaus tries to maintain a weird balance of gritty realism and whimsical fantasy but there’s some things that throw off that balance completely; there’s an oddly cartoonish scene with two guards and a snowball that had me raising my eyebrow in confusion. A few missteps aside, the story is a fun and interesting take on the Santa Claus lore which feels different from anything we’ve seen before, yet familiar enough in all the right places preventing it from being too wild and over the top. The pacing of the story is a bit too fast for my liking; there’s not a lot of dialogue and there’s very little action in it.
Luckily, Dan Mora’s art is amazingly gorgeous; his snow-covered buildings and warm glows of fire invoke a very Christmas feel throughout the pages. You’ll find yourself staring at the panels and soaking up every single detail. There’s four more issues left of this series, and I hope Grant Morrison kicks the story up a notch, but for a second issue, Klaus #2 is sadly borderline forgettable.
The Verdict – 6.0/10
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Eryk Donovan
Cognetic tells the story of ancient psychics battling for control over the entire world. Their powers have shaped societies and created the civilizations, and now their battle comes to a stunning conclusion in the latest issue from BOOM! Studios.
The premise for Cognetic is so unique and wonderful that by the time I reached the last page I was so bummed that the journey was over, and I wished there was more. Cognetic #3 is a thrilling ride from start to finish, but the finale felt a little bit like a not-so-subtle nod to a specific moment from the finale of Alan Moore’s iconic graphic novel Watchmen, almost down to the same line of dialogue. I loved the fighting giants composed of individual humans clumping together to form the gigantic shapes, and the terrifying conclusion that sees the character of Anne’s story come to a conclusion. The only drawback I can think of is that I would have loved to see this story drawn out a bit more; three issues just aren’t enough for something so fun and original.
James Tynion IV’s writing is sharp and deeply entertaining, while Eryk Donovan and Juan Manuel Tumburús’ art and coloring does a merely adequate job in providing the story’s visuals. It would have been nice to see more features within the monstrous giants, and some scenes might have been unforgettable had the art been stronger and more striking, but ultimately I enjoyed the series and I’m sad to see it end. I look forward to the next project these guys are going to work on in the future.
The Verdict – 8.0/10
Big Trouble in Little China #19
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Dan McDaid
The Adventures of Jack Burton continue in Big Trouble in Little China #19. Wang tries to win Miao Yin back while Jack Burton plays an intense game of poker in order to continue into the Immortal Round and rescue Margo.
Wow, there are a lot of digs at the Harry Potter series, and some of them are just a tad bit juvenile. I get that Jack Burton is a character that can be quite politically incorrect and insensitive, but some of his lines seemed kind of mean-spirited. The subplot with Winona and Whitney meeting their mother’s new husband was more entertaining to me anyway, and I’m excited to see what comes next, but I feel that things have ran their course with the supernatural poker tournament and Jack needs to get back into action.
The strength of this series relies heavily on whether or not the writers and the artists can capture the feel of John Carpenter’s cult classic flick, and Fred Van Lente nails the voice of the characters despite sometimes pushing things a bit too far. The illustrations by Dan McDaid are passable, and I feel that some of the art is too abstract and vague; it’s very helpful that Winona and Whitney are wearing two different outfits otherwise I wouldn’t be able to differentiate between the two characters.
Overall, the series continues to be enjoyable and I’m looking forward to reading what comes next.
The Verdict – 7.0/10