Comic Review: Red Sonja/Claw: The Devil’s Hands

Published: January 24th, 2007
Written by: John Layman
Art by: Andy Smith, Jim Lee (cover)
Based on: Red Sonya by Robert E. Howard, Red Sonja by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith, Claw the Unconquered by David Michelinie, Ernie Chan

Wildstorm, Dynamite Entertainment, 112 Pages

Review:

Yeesh! This was bad.

I thought a story that brought together Red Sonja and Claw the Unconquered would be pretty damn badass. Well, it should have been but this certainly wasn’t.

The Jim Lee cover was really damn cool, though.

I also thought that Andy Smith’s art throughout the comic was pretty good. There were a few spots in the action sequences that I had to examine, though, as the transition from one panel to the next seemed to be off.

As far as the story, it was pretty schlocky. While I like schlock of a certain caliber, this was just lowest common denominator crossover bait, which is something that companies like Dynamite and IDW have become famous for over the last several years. Granted, this is about fifteen years old now but this is also where I noticed IP crossovers really starting to become far more common.

At least this didn’t bring the characters together through magic portals, which has been a bad trope in stories like these.

Anyway, you can totally skip over this unless you’re a Red Sonja completist. But if you are, maybe read this last after all the other stuff.

Rating: 4/10

Comic Review: Deathblow – The Deluxe Edition

Published: March 25th, 2014
Written by: Brandon Choi
Art by: Jim Lee, Tim Sale

Image Comics, Wildstorm, DC Comics (reprinted), 292 Pages

Review:

Back when I was pretty hardcore into Image Comics, the company was still fresh, new and helmed by the coolest creators of the early ’90s. I used to buy everything I could get my hands on.

Jim Lee’s Deathblow was one of those titles and I remember first seeing the title character in the Darker Image one-shot, which was used to introduce a few characters with a darker or harder edge about them.

Deathblow really stood out, even though most people remembered that comic for bringing Sam Keith’s The Maxx into the mainstream.

There was just something super cool and brooding about this character, though. He felt like a much darker version of a Stallone or Schwarzenegger character with a bit of Punisher sprinkled in for extra flavor.

However, Deathblow’s solo series never really resonated with me like I had hoped but as I got older, I thought that it might have had a lot to do with my age at the time. So I always wanted to go back and read it to see it with fresh eyes and a few extra decades of life experience.

Unfortunately, this didn’t blow me away and I actually found it kind of boring once I got to about the midway point of this beefy collection. It just didn’t captivate me and it felt too much like a product of its time, embracing certain tropes, but not really offering up anything unique or different.

However, I have to point out that the artwork is absolutely stupendous and some of the best work I’ve seen from Jim Lee, a real legend in his field. I loved the muted colors and the high contrast and it was the cool art that at least kept me engaged where the story waned.

Looking back and also having read some of the Image Comics stuff as an adult, I think that this was really the issue with a lot of their comics. The art was always top notch and incredible but the stories were always kind of lacking. Maybe this is why Image never became another Marvel or DC, focused on superhero stories, and eventually moved well beyond that genre with things like The Walking Dead, East of West, Paper Girls, Chew and Saga.

Rating: 6/10
Pairs well with: other comics from Jim Lee’s Wildstorm universe.

Vids I Dig 114: Toy Galaxy: The History of The ‘ThunderCats’: Short Life, Lasting Impact

From Toy Galaxy’s YouTube description: Relatively speaking ThunderCats had a pretty short life in the popular eye but many years later they have left a lasting impact on fans of the show and the toyline.

Thankfully this episode has nothing at all to do with lizard people or the Illuminati but has everything to do with anthropomorphized cat people.

Join us for the history of the ThunderCats.