Quisque Comoedum Est
Death is only the beginning in the new Dead@17 series: Protectorate. And Don Bluth’s popular Dragon’s Lair sees print again in this first volume from Arcana that collects #1-3 of the 2003 CrossGen series with (hopefully) more new material to come.
There’s no letterer credited for Dead@17: Protectorate, which is a shame, because someone devised a wonderful trick; when the fallen angels who have lost the war in Heaven are cast into Hell, the dialogue is in English with gray angelic script in the background. It’s an innovative way of doing a translation, and one not-always achievable, though it certainly works here.
The book spends its first half dozen pages leaping around locales and times, but settles in Darlington Hills, 1945. There, we meet Grace True and her father, a pastor dabbling in arcane research that uncovers the Book of Balabogg. Zombies and demons overrun their home, and Grace is saved by the presumably newly-formed Protectorate. Mind you, the book does open with Grace being shot, so it could be a brief respite, though we know that for the chosen girls of Dead@17, death is only the beginning.
Alex Hamby scripts a better-than-your-average book about a girl in a negligee being chased by monsters, and Benjamin Hall has a sort of animated Art Adams style of drawing, with nice, idiosyncratic colors by Marlena Hall.
Dragon’s Lair (Arcana)
The long-standing Dragon’s Lair franchise always had the best-looking video games, which were essentially playable cartoons. It’s good to see it also has some of the best-looking comics, in this Arcana publication with flawless, lively art by Fabio Languna supplemented by the bold colors of MV Creations.
Dirk the Daring and Princess Daphne are attacked by a high-king dragon, who absconds with Daphne back to his homeland. Dirk must rescue the nonetheless-capable princess before she becomes a mind-controlled loveslave like so many before her.
With a good sense of humor from Andy Mangles, it’s a nice treat of family-friendly fare (assuming you’re OK with a couple panels of evident nipples in a black evening gown).
Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.