Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lock and load! 13 Chambers and Green Lantern #35

13 Chambers
Created and Written by Christopher "mink" Morrison
Art by Denis Medri
Coloring by Romina Denti
Covers by Paolo Parente
Lettering by Michael David Thomas
Published by Image Comics

Recently, Newsarama interviewed the creator and writer of this series, Christopher "Mink" Morrison, and he explained what it was all about. Well, I read the first issue this week and I'm interested in how it will play out. "Chambers" is a western set in an alternate history during 1860's. In this universe, thirteen U.S. marshalls, each carrying a high-tech 13-chambered pistol, have been enforcing the law until a new president deemed the weapons too dangerous. 13 Chambers is the point of view from the 13th Marshall, who was assigned to retrieve the other weapons and return them to President Jackson so they could be archived. All is going according to plan, until the Marshall arrives in a town known as Four Corners, where a tyrannic mining tycoon named York has killed the 12th Marshall and stolen one of the Peace Keeper pistols. Now, the Marshall must retrieve the pistol and bring the tyrant to justice...or die trying.

The issue starts off with a diagram of what one of the Peace Keeper pistols looks like. Beautifully drawn by Matthias Haddad, it shows how the chambers work with the multiple triggers on the handle. Denis Medri's style resembles a mix between modern artists Mark Brooks and J. Scott Campbell. Amazingly drawn figures as well as solid panels, complemented by Romina Denti's coloring skill, makes for one spectacular looking book. The first issue establishes the tone pretty well. A classic Western tale, similar to Michael Fleisher's run on "Jonah Hex", with a little bit of Indiana Jones sprinkled in.

The line between good and evil is drawn pretty well here. The hero is tough and handsome, the villain is sinister and resembles a combination of Voldemort from "Harry Potter" and Tex Hex from BraveStarr, making it easy to read and recommend. Perhaps I'm slightly biased, being a fan of the western genre, but I really appreciated this book and I am looking forward to what this title brings to the table. With the market saturated with tie-ins and continuity-heavy books, 13 Chambers is a pleasant addition to anyone's pull box.

Green Lantern #35 (DC; by Lan): Issue 35 is the finale of the Secret Origins, and once again the team of Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Oclar Albert make for a smashing good read. Interesting though, is that this issue doesn't do the DC usual of the first page being a splash page. There is not a whole lot of action going on in this issue, but the interaction between the rookie Hal Jordan and the more experienced Sinestro left me wanting one thing: a Sinestro origins mini-series showcasing him as the "greatest of the Green Lanterns". It's interesting to see Sinestro, one of comic's most heinous villains, as a hero and a mentor. We've heard the story numerous times about how great he was, but to have seen it is something else. Something great!
Overall, this was a solid issue. It brings some resolution to the arc, tying up some loose ends while giving a tug to a couple other loose ends. We get some nice "continuity nods" that long-time fans should be able to pick up on, that show that this story isn't ignoring what's come before. Even though this is the "post-Infinite Crisis" origin, nothing really changes or maybe I just didn't see it. As the conclusion of a story, I couldn't have been happier, but it gives us a glimpse of what's to come.

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