Friday, May 31, 2013

Reviews- MORBIUS THE LIVING VAMPIRE #5 and JOHN CARPENTER'S ASYLUM #1

Morbius The Living Vampire #5 (Marvel, cover date July, 2013)
Writer: Joe Keatinge
Artists: Richard Elson with Carlos Rodriguez
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
The battle for Brownsville continues, with the players being Morbius and the Rose. Morbius has roused the support of the people, and on the surface it looks like he is a hero. But the Rose has an ace up his sleeve, and it will be Morbius who loses. The last few pages point to an interesting new development. Things are moving along at a slower pace this time out. There was a lot more dialogue, but in this case it was necessary to move the plot forward. It's not like Keatinge was wasting double page spreads on breakfast table conversations or anything, so I'm still in. 
I am sad. I've read online that issue 9 will be the last issue for this series. I've waited a long time for a proper Morbius series, and all that I can say is that I've done my part by buying this series. Morbius has never had much luck in the sales department, although he did it make it through 33 mostly cringe-worthy issues in the '90s (1-12 or so were pretty good; it was really the later issues that were abysmal). Oh well. I'll be double dipping and buying the trade paperback of this series, A Man Called Morbius, when it is released later this year.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5. 

John Carptenter's Asylum #1 (Storm King, 2013- no cover date, released on May 29, 2013)
Writer: Bruce Jones
Artists: Leonardo Manco
Colorist: Kinsun Loh
The gist: Detective Jack Duran is on a seemingly routine call when he crosses paths with wayward priest Daniel Beckett and what may or may not be Satan himself, or one of his minions at the very least. We have demonic possession and murder for a first act. I'm in for the second act.
Everything about this series is first class. The writing, the artwork, the coloring. I am shocked to say that I even enjoyed Janice Chiang's lettering, as her '90s work was horrible. Here, everything is crisp and clean. Cripes, even the paper is great. 
Leonardo Manco is so underrated as an artist. I “discovered” him on Radical's criminally neglected Driver For The Dead, and I fail to understand why we don't see more of his work. My only guess is that it takes him a long time to draw like this. Writer Bruce Jones is an industry veteran, writing the infamous Jenifer for Creepy (with artwork by Bernie Wrightson).
I would recommend picking up the single issues of this series, as there is no guarantee of a trade paperback release with small press publishers like this. I hope that there is one down the road, though; I'd buy it.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.



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