Saturday, September 09, 2006

Athena Voltaire: Flight of the Falcon

(Ape Entertainment Edition)
#1 (of 4)
Paul Daly & Steve Bryant

The high-flying adventuress returns from the ashes of Speakeasy to fly again in this action-packed issue from Ape Entertainment! I was completely smitten with the first issue of this comic when it was released from Speakeasy early this year. It's wonderful to see it back and better than ever in this 48-page monster collecting the entire first Speakeasy issue, as well as the second never released issue. The whole controversy behind their decision to publish the comic in this way is explained in the back of this edition, but basically, the 1400+ backorders for the sold-out first issue from Speakeasy was quite the demand, but not enough to justify another print run that could potentially spell doom for the mini-series. As a compromise, new readers can get caught up on the series, and those returning would only have to spare $1.50 extra than they would have paid for the entire run from its former publisher. It's pretty much a win-win. But the first issue isn't entirely the same either, as is also pointed out. Dialogue has been tightened and coloring has been redone in some areas for a superior showcase of the material that will continue throughout the rest of the series' four issue run. And should sales of this series warrant it, the creators would be more than happy to release collections of the comics from the Eisner-nominated Athena Voltaire webcomic! Such a thought makes me giddy.

Now that the backstory has been briefly recounted, I have to say that this has lived up to everything I remembered and then some. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed rereading the first issue. The beautiful art, the wonderful characters, the wit of the's all there between the impressive action sequences in 30's adventure comicstrip tradition. Teeming with jungle locales, evil nazis and good old-fashioned airplace chases, this is one comic that absolutely can NOT be missed. Athena Voltaire is a character the likes of which doesn't come along too often, and the characters that surround her are just as interesting and mysterious. Warren Ellis summed it up perfectly with the quote featured prominently on the front cover of this issue: "Imagine if the likes of The Mummy and Van Helsing were actually, you know, good." This is it! If you love adventure, action, or great comics in general, you have got to pick this title up. Trust me! A+

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