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Five Big Stars for Jim Starlin's BREED!April 3 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
If you are looking for great storytelling and artful action the BREED series is up your alley. Each page is in vivid color and has a high-gloss finish. Starlin is such a fine artist, giving each panel so much detail that you really have to appreciate the hours that he must have devoted to such a riveting saga. When Ray Stoner discovers that he is half man/half demon, he must hide out in a strange netherworld called "Elsewhere" where he has to prevent other demons from killing him and stop an invasion on Earth. So far I have read three books which are: Breed the Book of Genesis, Breed Volume 2 TP, and Breed Volume 3: Book of Revelations (Breed III) and thoroughly enjoyed every one.
Other notable books by Jim Starlin are Predators and the classic Among Madmen.
for anyone who is familiar with jim starlin and likes his work, this is essential reading. this is comic book storytelling at its best. for those of us who were blown away by jim starlin's dreadstar hand-painted illustrations and epic, fantastical storytelling in the origin of the story as it appeared in epic illustrated, i think we all wondered what starlin would do with the onset of computer coloring that took over comics in the 90's. this trilogy is the answer. and it is beautiful exiting art and compelling storytelling that draws you in, completely believing from beginning to end.
starlin fleshes out his imagined worlds so clearly and in such three dimensionality that you are never left wondering about some ambiguous part of the image anywhere on the page. he's a master of 1, 2 and 3 point perspective, so when a character moves through his backrounds, you know exactly where the character is standing where he came from, and where momentum is taking him. this clarity can be rare in more stylized comic book art.
this story has plenty of very cool looking humanoid monster creatures battling, climbing, leaping...and it has great leading characters with interesting motivations, interactions, narrative suspense and story arcs. and it has one of the coolest cities ever seen in any comic book - a surreal magical city in a dimension where the buildings are all brilliantly designed by starlin, like precise yet bizarre blueprints perfectly drawn in three dimensions.
i've tried to analyze how and why starlin visual storytelling is so unique and enjoyable. i haven't been able to completely nail it down, but i can tell you this - starlin comic books have memorable, big dramatic moments perfectly, clearly led up to, and perfectly, unforgettably punched home with maximum cathartic effect.
big, enjoyable, memorable, dramatic moments that instantly become iconic.
moments that you want to go back and read again and again.
this is the starlin trademark quality that is so unique to his work.
starlin's often symmetrical page layout with dual images and characters presenting story arcs lends itself very effectively to this iconic quality.
Not bad, but not very original or ambitiousSept. 24 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
It starts with a bang, a typical American small town circa 1949 is turned into a slaughterhouse. Corpses piled up, satanic runes written in blood, gnawed bones everywhere.
The sole survivor is a young catatonic woman who eventually gives birth to our hero Ray Stoner. He grows up, serves in Vietnam where he hulks out and slaughters a platoon of Viet Cong. Eventually he discovers his half-demon heritage and sets out to stop his kin from conquering the world.
This series first came out in early 90s and frankly felt dated then. The whole concept, half-demon psycho Vietnam vet, feels like something out of the 70s and frankly has not aged well. The concept is solid enough but is undercut by some very conspicuous plot devices, an interdimensional city which the evil demons cannot enter (but Stoner can) or a magic well that functions both as a scrying pool and an infinite potion of healing for our hero.
Overall the Breed series as a whole has some nice art (it's Jim Starlin, of course the art is great) but doesn't have much to say. The 2nd book seemed like padding, and the 3rd, which came out nearly 20 years later has a bizarre crossover that manage to be both a deus-ex-machina and break the 4th wall.
If you're a big Starlin fan (and I am) add a star otherwise you can probably give Breed a miss.