Friday, July 21, 2006

The Red Star: Sword of Lies

The Red Star makes its return this week in a new series: The Red Star: Sword of Lies. The debut issue gives fans plenty of what they're used to from the title: great art blending traditional pencils with 3-D computer art and digital painting. I was a little disappointed with the opening prologue of the story, which was mythology-heavy and delved into the story of Imbohl the sorceror (the series' main antagonist) after a bloody battle that saw nearly all of his troops dead (and him half-dead himself). Several panels recycled art a few times, which kind of bugs me and takes me out of the story a bit, and the narration felt rather forced. Thankfully once the series oriented itself in present-time (or future-time really), the series found its footing and the story unfolded in its complicated universe with Maya taking center-stage as she had previously. Maya begins with a tip to the fans and their long wait for the series to continue with "Is it just me...or have we been waiting here forever?" still on the skyfurnace R.S.S. Konstantinov as we'd left them with the last Red Star story Prison of Souls in early 2004. Overall, I think this is the weakest issue of The Red Star to date. Nothing was particularly interesting. The story, mostly told through flashbacks wasn't very engaging. If you plan to visit the world of The Red Star, I would recommend Run, Makita, Run, the Red Star Annual (and probably best issue), or the first collection of the series: The Battle of Kar Dathra's Gate. Or even better yet, Team Red Star released one issue of a series called Assassin a few years ago that was just a spectacular comic. However, if you are a fan of the series thus far, Sword of Lies will probably placate you with its 36 uninterrupted pages, and will hopefully have more to offer past the reunion with readers with the next issue's release.

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