Jun 19, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 115: Klarion #4, March 2015

Closing in on the final issue of Klarion. It's sad, because this initial storyline seems like just that: an initial storyline. I'd love to have seen the kind of adventures Klarion would get up to cruising the Multiverse with Beelzebub.

That said, the series really has managed a fascinating look at a Chaotic Neutral character. For those not familiar with Dungeons & Dragons alignment-speak, that's someone who doesn't follow any laws, and falls on either the side of good or the side of evil, depending on the situation. It's a tough alignment to play in-game, but Nocenti has pulled off a pretty good depiction of it. Klarion does what he thinks is best very much dependent on how it will all turn out for him. He'll occasionally think of others, but only if their well-being (or lack thereof) is somehow beneficial for him as well. But, all this considered, he's still got some likable characteristics. It's, I think I've said before, an interesting contrast to the characters I'm also reading in The Adventurers, where there's a similar characterization, but not quite as much of a likability.

I do have a criticism, though. Whether or not this series was planned as an ongoing or a limited run, I think this particular initial storyline has dragged out for far too long. We spend this whole issue in a pocket universe inside Klarion so that he can get some futuristic technology with which to combat Coal and his "Buddybots," but it seems to me that this episode could have been told in far fewer pages. It could also be that this is the first issue to feature guest artists, and while they attempt to maintain the aesthetic of McCarthy's prior issues, they're not quite up to the task. Well, in my humble opinion. One has to wonder, then, if this story had been condensed into four issues instead of the six I expect it's going to take, if the series might have been more successful. Introduce the character, give him an adventure that introduces some supporting cast, and then rocket him into another adventure. Asking readers to devote six months to a story featuring a character they may never have heard of is asking a bit much in this market, I think.

Ah well. I'm still enjoying the crap out of it. And it's really nice to have a little peek back into the DCU after having become so disillusioned with the New 52. (That said, DC's new Prez series, while not in-continuity, is really lovely, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out.)

Okay. Conclusion of book 1 of The Adventurers tomorrow. See you then.

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