I thought I knew what I was getting when I finished the first issue of Wailing Blade. I thought this was going to be a mad and bloody romp through fools until some big twist brought out a deeper meaning. Apparently, some fools can get a shot.
Issue 1 set up not only the ruthless efficiency and invulnerability of the wielder of the title weapon, but how much a fool the opposition leader was. I know that I'm using that word a lot (I promise it means what I think it means, Inigo.), but I can't see Tychon as much else, and the text supports it! Doeuk's world building continues by adding interesting wrinkles to the Imperial dystopia that reduce the Headtaker to just one of apparently many public and crowd-pleasing executioners. We find out about Bone Breaker and that executions can be challenged (not by the person getting killed, silly, but by the people doing the killing and the people who want to do the killing more killingly), which if the naming convention holds, I would assume will be wielding a big, heavy kinda whacker. I truly don't know where the story goes from here, as my thoughts were brought up short in a big moment about halfway through the issue, but chubby, little Clytus has much more going on than his elevated cholesterol and I AM HERE FOR IT. I wanna know what this Danny DeVito-looking dude's got in the secret department, because he seems like the guy with a plan in any situation.
I'm digging the hell out of Joe Mulvey's style on this book. It's evocative of Skottie Young with rounder character designs and is a fun juxtaposition for the subject matter. It feels a bit like if Cobra Commander got a chance to eviscerate
someone on a Saturday morning. My childhood feels oddly empty now... Anyway, the grand moment is delivered with striking panache, and he composes the scene beautifully. I'm excited to see just how on the nose Bone Breaker is going to be, but, again, something in this book screams to me that a big turn is coming.
I like the feel of this series; it's the kind of fun that you can switch off and enjoy. I'll be honest, I had to take an extra couple of read throughs to write this review; it's so easy to just read and enjoy it without breaking down all the fun. I like comics that can do that for me: shut off the critical brain and just invite me to enjoy the ride. I did, and you likely will, too.
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Creative Team: Rich Douek (Writer), Joe Mulvey (Artist), Chris Sotomayor, Jules Rivera (Colorists), Taylor Esposito (letterer)
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