Jul 31, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 157: Adventurers v.2 #5, August 1988


We're coming up to the end of my Adventurers collection, and I must admit I'll be sad to leave these characters behind. The five adventurers who survived volume 1 are all coming through this series intact, though I would not put it past the writers to pull off a final act slaughter. In many ways it reminds me of the Game of Thrones TV show (I've not read the books), in that I can't rest easy in the knowledge that the characters I've come to care about are somehow safe from a bloody death. Even in this issue, the noble Shadolok comes pretty close, and I was pretty unhappy about that fact. Thank goodness (or, I suppose, evilness) for the Man-Gods of the lost city.

I love when I get to type sentences like that last one.

The political action continues to take precedence in the book, even to the point of inflecting what was previously the adventurous part of the story. Having escaped the lost city, and having retrieved the Grail of Darkness, alliances are formed in preparation for the return to the city of Liam, where I have to assume the final showdown with the forces of the war God Baal will happen. I have to make that assumption because I don't have the last 3 issues of the series. Though I was fairly critical of the first volume of this title, I'll admit that it's now on a list of comics that, should I come across the issues I'm missing, I'll probably pick up. While I may have had my qualms about some of the early characterization, and the strangely uneven art, I've actually come to like a few of the characters. I've wondered a few times if this is one of those series that might have worked better being published as graphic novels, rather than periodically. Each issue does end on a cliffhanger of sort, thus bringing readers back, but I think that if I had sat down and read the whole story at once, the development of the characters would have made more sense. If you recall, I was concerned that all of the characters were unlikable, and I think this stemmed from the breaks between reading issues, even if it was only a day or so. A sustained look at each character, over the course of a 100-page book, rather than a 20-page comic, might have shown the subtlety of the character development in a way that would have flowed naturally into where they are now, rather than in fits and starts.

Not sure if that makes sense. It did in my head, but it's pretty early in the morning still!

I think we'll be finishing up Adventurers tomorrow, and then sitting behind that in the collection is a huge run of Alpha Flight. I'll have to figure out the best way to make our way through that. See you tomorrow.

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