Saturday, April 30, 2005


I held off on starting this because as entertaining as some of the Seven Soldiers stories have been, a series about Klarion the Witch Boy was going to take some doing to be appealing. Whether you know him from his pestering Jason Blood or from Sins of Youth, Klarion tends to be... an acquired taste. And I haven't.

That said, this was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. Here, Klarion's mischievousness is not inconsideration or maliciousness the way it usually is when he's running amok in the DCU; it's self-preservation in a puritanical (literally) society. On the cusp of adulthood in a society paralyzed by fear ossified into belief, Klarion is both bored and terrified that his entire life will be more of the same -- and it doesn't even end with death. His community digs up the dead for zombie labor ("grundies", har-har), robbing them of the rest they'd hoped that they'd earned. He's got a good reason to be the typical sullen teenager.

All of this, sans the post-mortem employment, is in line with Klarion's 'regular' origin stories -- there's usually a fellow or three dressed like a Puritan with a draaga on his shoulder chasing after our little juvenile delinquent. The question is where we go from here. I've sat through enough Klarion stories that I'm pretty sure I don't need to see another along the same lines -- Klarion breaks his community's rules regarding magic, Klarion runs away with Teekl, Klarion gets to our world and starts going crazy like a superpowered Bart Simpson, et cetera. We've already got the fish-out-of-water story going on in Shining Knight, so hopefully this won't wander too far from where it is and maybe we see Klarion defending what he was trying to leave behind. The Sheeda already know where Klarion's village is -- a harbinger pixie shows up and Klarion's people are versed in the lore of their destructiveness, but they hope to ride out the Sheeda storm well-hidden. That plan doesn't work and the fallout will lead off the next issue.

Frazer Irving's art is quite lovely and very dramatic. The monochromatic palette is broken up by bits of bright color -- Teekl's yellow, the KitKat's red wrapper, the magenta draaga, the purple Horigal -- for emphasis; it's all quite art-house movie-ish and nice.


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