Severed No. 1 (Image, cover date August, 2011)
My friend loaned me this a couple of weeks ago, and I have been sitting on this review. (No, I don't know why.)
Severed is spectacular! I am a sucker for Americana, I am a sucker for Norman Rockwell paintings, and I am a sucker for serial killers. Combine all of those elements and you have Severed. Writers Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft have done the nigh impossible...they've made me want to read a monthly series again. I will resist and wait for the inevitable trade paperback, but I will actually bump it up to the top of the much ballyhooed backlog upon release. Artist and colorist Atilla Futaki is like Norman Rockwell on acid. Jaw droppingly good stuff here. I can't wait to read the rest of this series.
THE KNIGHTS OF PENDRAGON: ONCE AND FUTURE (Marvel UK, 2010; Softcover)
Collects The Knights of Pendragon Nos. 1-9 (cover dates July, 1990- March, 1991)Watchmen's tone and pacing changed comic books forever. This is evident in pretty much every comic published in the decade after it, and extremely evident in this series. Future superstar Writer Dan Abnett (with John Tomlinson) do a quasi-superhero title with that laid back, decompressed Vertigo Comics vibe. I liken it to the “West Coast” sound of '70s Rock...there's no sense of urgency in anything that happens, and even the action seems seem to whimper rather than bang. This is well written but is honestly not my cup of tea. I like my comic books, especially superhero comic books, to have maximum impact and concise storytelling.
Future superstar Artist Gary Erskine also got an early break in the Marvel UK titles as well as 2000 A.D. His artwork is solid and his action sequences flow well enough but lack Alan Davis' bone crunching violence. Disney (the parent company of Marvel, as of late) has issued a mandate that all new material must originate from the US arm of Marvel. Pity that. We may never get the next Alan Davis or Alan Moore now. I can understand them keeping a clenched fist for, say, Spider-Man or Captain America, but I don't see any reason why they couldn't allow them some play with UK heroes, like Captain Britain (a supporting character in this title).
All in all, this is a decent read with environmental overtones that hold up well. This is only available in the UK (or by Internet, as I got it), and I sincerely doubt that this book will be issued Stateside. The production values are similar to the other Panini/ Marvel UK books: super thick cardstock cover and paper, high resolution scans with little to no restoration and nice introductions by the creators.