Thursday, July 21, 2011

Reaper Vol. 2

by Cliff Rathburn

I read the first volume of Reaper last week, having discovered it at my comic store, and knowing that I had this volume pre-ordered.  I don't know.  I want to like this comic, because I have long admired Rathburn's work on The Walking Dead, but there's a lot missing from this comic.

This volume is set some 400 years after the end of the last, and is more or less a repeat of the first book, yet with roles reversed.  Reaper is now a warlord possessing a province, where he apparently just likes to hang out with whores (and likes calling them 'whore' over and over it seems).  Death has finally reconstituted himself, and sends two people to go and retrieve the gem that has kept Reaper alive and indestructible for so long.  These two people are named Creeping Oni, who can control the minds of others, and Kali, who of course has four arms.

A lot of meaningless and bloody fighting ensues, and then the issue ends on a cliffhanger.  There is no character development, and I don't ever feel like I should be rooting for either side in the fight - they're all pretty horrible people.  Without any sense of investment in the characters, I don't feel much desire to return to this title when the third volume is published.  The art is nice, but I'm not down with the sheer numbers of severed limbs and decapitations that take the place of pacing, and plot and character development.

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