IDW ROUND-UP

Makes its play for “the new Im­age” sta­tus

Comic Heroes - - Front Page - Charles Paul Wil­son III Joe Hill Matt Bielby

wraith

It’s not blood Manx is af­ter but a child’s very in­no­cence

num­ber and a fuel tank that takes souls, not petrol. This is a dif­fer­ent type of vam­pire, for it’s not blood Manx is af­ter but – slightly neb­u­lous, this – a child’s very in­no­cence, suck­ing the life out of them and turn­ing them into mon­sters. acts as a pre­quel to the novel, and ex­pands upon it; some of this ma­te­rial is stuff cut from the fi­nal ver­sion of the book.

Drawn in a hand­somely scratchy style al­most rem­i­nis­cent of Car­los Ez­querra’s – I par­tic­u­larly liked the cut­away shots of a mov­ing van, show­ing the five people in­side as it trucks down a wind­ing and dan­ger­ously re­mote road – Wraith keeps the ten­sion screwed high, even when all that’s hap­pen­ing is a bunch of people sit­ting around talk­ing. The first is­sue in­tro­duces us to Manx, who looks like a fu­neral di­rec­tor with plenty of ro­dent in his DNA; the sec­ond adds a mixed bag of con­victs and their jail­ers, all of whom have mys­ter­ies to hide. The re­sult is a hard-edged crime mys­tery with a very creepy tone and a nicely low-key use of the su­per­nat­u­ral.

In­de­struc­tible, mean­while, is a su­per­hero satire of sorts, with geek ev­ery­man hero Greg Pincus strug­gling with girls, crap jobs, and the tyranny of night­club queues. In this world, su­per­heroes are A-list celebri­ties, and when Greg’s caught up in a late-night rob­bery, CCTV sees him rise, seem­ingly un­harmed, af­ter tak­ing a point-blank gun­shot to the chest. Is he a new hero? Ev­ery­one seems to think so, and Greg sees no im­me­di­ate rea­son to dis­avow them of that be­lief, grasp­ing a real op­por­tu­nity to live the life­style.

Clearly we’ve got a rather broad satire go­ing on here, with some fairly ob­vi­ous tar­gets – celebrity cul­ture, main­stream su­per­hero tropes, a few side-swipes at re­al­ity TV – tak­ing it straight in the mush. The spo­rad­i­cally pleas­ing art is a lit­tle like John McCrea’s, or per­haps Glenn Fabry at his most car­toony, but it’s the writer we re­ally have to watch here, for this is the de­but book from Darby Pop, a new IDW im­print cre­ated by TV writer Kline and well-known edi­tor David Wohl. We’re cau­tiously in­ter­ested, but not overly so on the mea­gre strengths of the slightly needy, pre­dictable

With his goa­tee, Greg’s yet an­other Si­mon Pegg-alike. Bad things are likely to hap­pen to good and bad people alike here.

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