Jun 17, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 113: Klarion #3, February 2015

A couple of odd things occur to me after completing this issue. First, it seems that each of the issues of Klarion has an alternate cover. Is this a standard practice for DC now? I appreciate that the alternates seem to have a bit more of a Vertigo rather than mainstream DCU feel, thus catering to different audiences, but isn't the proliferation of alternate covers what caused the crash in the 90s? Best start looking for shelter, I guess.

The second thing, also cover-related, is that this particular cover has, literally, nothing to do with anything that happens in the story. Zell does not attack Klarion. She just doesn't. One wonders if this is a case of whomever edits the series realizing that it was not going to be a big hit, and just  phoning in the production responsibilities. I'm not saying that that is what happened, but having a cover that blatantly has nothing to do with the story but makes it seem like it has something to do with the story is just sloppy. Also, can anyone tell me how Zell's anatomy is working in this picture. The longer I look at it, the harder it is for me figure out.

As for story, it's just as weird. The old Magic versus Technology plot has been around as long as we've had magic and technology, but the setting that Nocenti and McCarthy have crafted makes this a particularly nice iteration of the tale. I'm sort of glad that I know there's only 6 issues. If I didn't, I'd certainly be getting invested in all of the plot set-up that's going on, the rogue witch hunters, Noah and Piper, the parental figures who look out for the young magicians (or do they?), the burgeoning romance (?) between Klarion and Zell, and especially Klarion's wrestling with good and evil. The way he straddles this line is a nice metaphor for the struggle between doing right and wrong that so permeates the experience of adolescence, coupled with the feeling of never getting caught. I miss that feeling. Sometimes.

I hope Nocenti and McCarthy at least get to finish off the story of Coal and his weird sentient tech. But if they don't, it's okay too. Peter Milligan's fantastic early Vertigo series Enigma plays with the idea that characters can simply move off the focal voice's stage, and we never find out really what happens in the end. In superhero universes, this happens all the time. Regardless of how Klarion ends up, Klarion is still out there somewhere, checking out magical hotspots and being sort of good and sort of bad.

But we're not there yet. A few more days of Klarion mixed with the Adventurers. Which we'll get back to tomorrow. See you then.

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