Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Book of Shadows

The first issue (of two) from Image Comics' Book of Shadows follows a young woman, Annie Lovelock, as she buries herself in witchcraft following her lover's death. Left to her misery, she calls upon forces she knows nothing about and accidentally draws attention from a god, The Morrigan, who marks her with several gifts, including the ability to speak with animals. Marked as she is, she is noticed by gods from both sides of a war, of which neither side has much regard for human life, and wishes even more that her lover were at her side amid the chaos. Now, I really didn't know much about this two-parter before I picked this issue up, but I guess the book is a prologue to the writer, Mark Chadburn's The Age of Misrule sci/fi novel trilogy. That withstanding, it does work on its own as a story. I'm just not sure it's one to my liking. It borrows a lot of elements from similar stories (gods of old coming to reclaim Earth as their own, a girl outrunning her magical destiny, a dragon thrown in for good measure, yadda yadda. Even the title of the series leaves a vague generic stamp over it). The art by Bo Hampton is okay. It's stylish, though I think it does rely a lot upon the coloring (of which I do find to be pretty great). In the end, however, it focuses too much on a fantasy angle too uninspired for me to appreciate.

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