Saturday, October 8, 2011

Casanova: Avaritia #2

Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Gabriel Bá

Just pause for a moment and take in that cover.  The fact that the scene it shows doesn't exactly happen like that in the book doesn't actually matter, does it?  That is one freaking amazing cover.

Actually, this is one pretty freaking amazing comic, even if reading it does lead to a level of cognitive fatigue not found in comics since Grant Morrison's Invisibles finished.

Casanova Quinn has stopped having to delete entire alternate timelines now, as he has instead discovered the true identity of arch villain Newman Xeno, and is instead working his way systematically through hundreds of alternates, taking him out.  Were that all that was happening in this book, it would be kind of simple, and we could just sit back and enjoy the different situations and settings that Cass finds himself in.  We could also enjoy the ways in which Fraction and Bá play around with things on a meta level.  Cass goes to kill Luther Desmond Diamond (aka Newman Xeno), the aspiring pop star, in an ancient Chinese setting with pandas, and on the next world, Diamond is signing copies of the comic he drew about that very thing.  There are lots of neat little tricks like that throughout this comic.

Where things become confusing though, is in trying to chart Casanova's feelings towards Diamond, his sorta girlfriend Sasa Lisi, and towards his compatriots at EMPIRE, the organization he works for.  There is a lot of subtle character stuff going on, made all the more difficult to follow because of the way the story is chopped up and spread across different timelines.

Fraction is putting his full brilliance behind this book, making it enjoyable on a number of levels (so unlike his recent Marvel work), and Gabriel Bá is straight killing on the art.  I may not catch everything that happens on the first read, but I am definitely loving this comic.

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