Monday is the bookstore!
Today we offer you the chronicle of three albums published by Delcourt Comics:
- Spawn Special 30th Anniversary Edition
- Radiant black volume 1
- Saffron Chu volume 2
Every week we offer you the chronicle of titles published in the bookstore. There may as well be very recent titles or previews as well as albums that have been released less recently.
|Spawn Special 30th Anniversary Edition|
Delcourt Comics – Contraband Collection
416 pages – 39,95€
Dave Sim / Todd Mcfarlane / Neil Gaiman / Alan Moore
2022: 30th anniversary of the publisher Image Comics, and of one of its emblematic characters created by Todd McFarlane: SPAWN. This edition exclusively in VF is an opportunity to celebrate this anti-superhero with dignity.
Al Simmons is a soldier, killed by his superiors and returned to Earth after making a deal with a demon, but has been transformed into an underworld henchman! Published only in VF, this book contains the first 15 episodes of the series, and many unpublished in VF!
Thirty years is something to celebrate! Here is the excellent anti-hero blowing out his thirty candles in an imposing album.
We find Spawn in his very first adventures, under the pen of his creator Todd McFarlane but also in episodes written by prestigious guests. We therefore start from the first episodes of the series and follow the beginning of Al Simmons in the Spawn costume and discover characters that are also well known, such as the police officers Sam and Twitch or the infamous Violator.
From the first page of the story, we remember that it is the 1990s with a climate of violence quite present in the comics. Moreover, there is an atmosphere on these pages that cheerfully flirts with horror in a context mainly characterized by a devilish theme.
It’s clear that a character like Spawn is radically different from the wiser characters in the competition: not only is his parentage sinister to say the least, but his day-to-day life isn’t exactly rosy either: amnesia at first, then confronted with the reality of the consequences. from his death he is also homeless and some of his powers are beyond his control… we’ve seen happier! His methods are radical to say the least, making competitive anti-heroes seem like jokes at the time.
The particularly dark atmosphere of Spawn’s adventures was also very different from other superheroes and antiheroes of the era, although Ghostrider had already left a trail as a hell-vomited antihero. We find ourselves in a particularly dark context not only because of the diabolical characters that circulate in these pages (Violator in particular), but also because of the themes covered, such as the child killer at the heart of a game that is all about the reader.
This series of episodes is interesting, be it the ones written by Todd McFarlane or by his colleagues. Admittedly, the context is quite dated, but we are faced with a page of comic book history through an emblematic representative of the 90s tone. The violence is highlighted without being gratuitous, and the context of the series still works well, even if we consider the excesses of a decade marked by one-sidedness between authors and publishers. Spawn shows his age with flair, and this anniversary edition is both a nice gift for his fans and a well-made jumping-off point for a new generation of readers looking to get to know him.
The graphics, provided by Todd McFarlane, are of a very good standard. The artist alternates plates with a very simple presentation and others with very sophisticated layouts, and we find his very dynamic style that had worked wonders when he illustrated the adventures of Spider-Man. Like the screenplay, it remains quite dated, but we can’t argue with the great efficiency in the rendering of the battles and the strength of the characters.
As a bonus, we’re treated to a director cut version of Spawn’s first episode with commentary from Todd McFarlane himself, as well as a gallery of covers and illustrations by young Todd McFarlane showing the preliminary stages of the concept he envisioned. to see.
A very good album, a bit dated but highly recommended for Spawn fans and a good entry point for new readers.
|Radiant black volume 1|
Delcourt Comics – Contraband Collection
192 pages – 15,95€
Nathan Burnett just turned thirty. His life is worthless. He has two jobs, gets too much debt and is forced to return to live with his parents. However, when he discovers and activates the Radiant, a colossal cosmic power, his existence changes overnight! Only one small problem: the cosmic beings who created the Radiant want it back… at all costs
In this album, readers are offered a new superhero. His name: Shining Black!
Kyle Higgins, who has notably worked on the Power Rangers and Nightwing, tells us the story of Nathan Burnett whose life is hardly encouraging. One day, by chance, he acquires amazing powers and will call himself Radiant Black.
It looks quite classic from this point of view: the somewhat (many) loser hero who happens to become a superhero is far from a novelty. But there are several elements that indicate from the outset that the author has surprises in store, then it becomes more and more apparent to a totally unexpected turnaround.
Moreover, if the first part is indeed quite classic, Kyle Higgins then goes in a different direction, which also reminds us of his past as a screenwriter. We are radically moving away from a “simple” superhero story to something that seems to be more complex. In fact, it’s quite frustrating to stay vague so as not to grill up the story’s surprises, as it would be a shame not to let you enjoy the pleasure of discovery.
Whether it’s the ‘classic’ part or the sequel, Radiant Black is an exciting story with a balanced rhythm between action and quieter moments. The adventures of this new hero, whose apprenticeship is not a long, calm river, are enjoyable to follow, and the surprises are thought out enough to very quickly break any sense of routine that could have lodged in the reader’s mind.
Note that if the first five episodes follow each other, the sixth, on the other hand, is a flashback that makes it possible to better understand a character in the story. Here too we follow the story with great interest, the tone is more poignant than in the other episodes of the album.
As for the graphics of the album, it is also a success there with very neat boards. The costume design is both simple and effective, and a few variations that arise after that are both logical and surprising.
On the bonus side, a copious gallery of illustrations and a glossary of the language used on these pages round out the album summary.
A fine album, which very quickly frees itself from a certain superheroic classicism in order to find its own identity.
|Saffron Chu volume 2|
Delcourt Comics – Contraband Collection
128 pages – 15,50€
After the success of TONY CHU – DETECTIVE CANNIBALE (series in 12 parts created by John Layman & Rob Guillory), the adventures of his sister SAFRANE continue in France!
Safrane Chu is Cibopare: she can guess the most intimate secrets of those with whom she has lunch. Tony Chu’s sister is back for the craziest and strangest adventure of her career: a pointless heist in the wine world that lasts for centuries…
After a successful but perfectable first album, here is the continuation of Tony Chu’s sister’s adventures.
John Layman has not calmed down for this second album and Safrane Chu and his acolytes pushes even further. Indeed, instead of limiting ourselves to fairly classic adventures in a familiar environment, this time we play with even more ambitious concepts such as time travel.
As usual, the author delights in powers derived from food… but the concept is starting to show its limits and maybe he’s just having fun. Admittedly, it still works pretty well, but even if we go very far with a new ability that completely reshuffles the cards in this second opus, it’s starting to feel warmed up… too bad for a food power-based series!
Likewise, if the atmosphere stays resolutely crazy, we’re still well below the real furious frenzy of Tony Chu’s adventures (and Poyo lacks that). In retrospect, you shouldn’t throw everything away either, because the album is still fun to read with a heroine whose adventures we love to follow, tinged with all kinds of badness and there are very good ideas as well as a priceless gallery of terrible jokes.
We’ll also appreciate seeing Safrane Chu in the company of a priceless group of broken arms that she leads with the baton, and if the album isn’t the story of the year, the twists and turns have plenty to offer the reader some fun moments. † If the first part already showed that the quality was lower than that of the original series, this difference is even greater in this second part.
On the graphic side we find Dan Boultwood who continues his work with a cartoonish style that fits very well with the unusual atmosphere of the story. But it’s not Rob Guillory there either and the design is a lot lower than what we could see in the original series. It’s still very nice… but it’s less good and it also lacks a touch of graphic madness.
On the bonus side, we are entitled to sketches and illustrations.
A good album with good ideas but the concept is running out and we are well below the adventures of Tony Chu.
That’s all for today!
Monday is the bookstore! see you next Monday for a new column.
The summary of the next column will be devoted to one or more albums, see you next Monday!
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