Wrtten by James Michael Ninness
Illustrated by Kevin Warwick
Published by Semantink Publishing
Was it Ron Marz who complained that artists don’t get enough attention from reviewers? Dear Ron Marz: Read my reviews, especially of Mythoi. You see, Semantink‘s Mythoi series is on its third artist and if you’ve read ANY of my prior reviews, you’ll know I’ve had some harsh criticisms of the art team along the way. Original artist Jed Soriano simply didn’t have the chops for this type of story – everything fell too flat. Brian Soriano was a huge step in the right direction with a much more dynamic style, however I often found myself getting lost in his panels, and not in the good way. Well, issue seven of the series brings us new artist Kevin Warwick. The detail Warwick brings to the page, the mood he conveys, and the individuality he gives each of his characters all come together to finally do justice to the rich narrative unfolding before us. Is it perfect? No, I wouldn’t say that. Warwick’s style would be well fitted to a suspense thriller type comic – very atmospheric and full of expression, but a bit lacking in the dynamic energy that Brian Soriano had brought to the page. Then again, this was a fairly “talky” issue, so we may see that change as time goes by. The best part about Warwick’s art, however, is that I’m no longer distracted and hampered by confusing visuals and can finally fully appreciate the story.
Ninness’s work is great. I’ve said it before. The basic idea here is gold, and the way he’s pulling all of his threads together really works. This issue sees the introduction of something called a “Mute bomb,” a concept that is staggeringly cool and promises to feed into the core plot of this book as it progresses. As for the specifics, I’ll let you see for yourselves! The other really great piece in this issue is the final scene, where the not-quite-up-to-speed Touch confronts Medusa. Fighting for his life in her chamber of trophies, he begins to beat her to death with a pair of petrified fawn legs. As the Gorgon drops to the ground, Touch notices… no, that would be telling. You’ll just have to take my word for it when I say this was one of the best last panels I’ve seen in a long time.
If I have one criticism of the writing, it’s that Ninness seems to want to make everyone a bit too smart-mouthed. It’s an easy trap to fall into, filling the page with one-liners and witty barbs. Dialing this back a bit will help keep the tone of the book and the individuality of the characters intact. When you read current issues of Avengers, Spider-Man busts out at least one quip per page. Hawkeye a bit more infrequently. Wolverine will let slip a dry one liner roughly once or twice an issue, and those pack a punch because they are – as befits his character – somewhat rare. Don’t misunderstand me; the book’s not all jokes and jabs and while I feel that the clever comebacks need to be cut down a hair, they do nothing to hinder to my enjoyment of the overall story with its rich literary background and promising direction.
Combine characters that have had me hooked since day one, a story that has just slathered on a whole new layer of intrigue, and a new level of artistic synergy and what you get is a damn good read that blew every other book this past week out of the water. Mythoi #7 gets 4.5 out of 5 bloody hindquarters