Comic Book Review: Victor Gischler Double-Shot
Today I thought I’d do a little something different with my comic book reviews. When going through my constantly growing pile of comics to review, I came across two Marvel books that appear to be completely different genres, both written by Victor Gischler. So I figured I’d read them both in one shot and review them together. Welcome to the Victor Gischler Double-Shot .
First off is X-Men #10. I was eager to read this book. If X-Men #9 was anything to go by, then this issue was going to knock my socks off…and it did.
X-Men #10 is the closing chapter of Gischler’s X-Men/Spider-Man team-up and starts with Emma Frost and Spider-Man facing down mutant lizard versions of X-Men Wolverine, Gambit, and Storm. As you can expect, this is the balls-to-the-walls action finale. Emma and Spidey attempt to escape the sewers and the monsters created by Dark Beast and The Lizard.
There’s really not much I can say about this book that I haven’t already said: Gischler’s characterization is spot on, Spidey is funny without being a jerk and I couldn’t help but smile at Emma’s frustration with him. I love how Gischler has made me care about characters I never really liked. And Chris Bachalo’s art style is great. He’s off the book after this issue and he will be sorely missed.
What I did find interesting was Paco Medina picking up the art chores for the last two pages. I wonder what happened that Bachalo didn’t finish those last two pages? Not that it matters but little things like that interest me.
Hit the jump for my verdict and a rating on X-Men #10, as well as my review of today’s second Victor Gischler title, Tomb of Dracula Presents: Throne of Blood
I think it’s Gischler’s approach to the X-Men that make them such a fun read for me and it’s summed up in Cyclops’ comment: “It’s a pure win. Heroes being Heroes. Nothing more. Nothing less.” Where other writers feel the need to take the X-Men to alternate dimensions or apocalyptic futures to get them into an epic situation on the hopes of making them interesting, Gischler simply writes the team of heroes as a team of heroes.
What can I say? X-Men #10 has been a great read (as has all of Gischler’s X-Men run so far). Five baby Hellboys out of five. Well deserved too. If you’re like me and drifted from the X-Men after years of garbage, I can’t encourage you enough to jump back on board now. This is the best the X-Men has been for years.
I like what he did with the Curse of the Mutants and I have been looking forward to more of his stuff with Dracula. Anyone who thinks they’re going to find prissy little sparkly vampires in any of Giscler’s Dracula books will be sorely disappointed. He has taken Dracula and made him a leader to be reckoned with and the Vampire Nation are the mean, nasty, and ugly vampires you used to love.
This book was interesting. I found it slow on the pickup but the more I read the more in I was pulled into the story.
Tomb of Dracula Presents: Throne of Blood opens with a member of the Klaw Sect (a sub-devision of the Vampire Nation) requesting an audience with Dracula himself. It soon becomes apparent that a member of the Klaw Sect has deserted their ranks and this is an execution offense. The assassin has come to Dracula for more knowledge of the deserter’s background.
From here, Dracula tells us a tale of feudal Japan and a Samurai named Raizo Kodo and his brother Ryuhei.
Story-wise, this really isn’t anything you haven’t seen in a vampire story before. But the fact that Gischler set it in feudal Japan with Samurai makes it feel fresh. The unique setting really made this story for me.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen art by Goran Parlov and Dalibor Talajic before, but their style really suits this book. I’m assuming that Talajic did the opening and closing scenes with Dracula and Parlov did he rest (if I’m wrong, please correct me). The Japanese pages are sketchy and remind me of an 80′s Ron Lim though a little more sketchy and realistic. And the opening and closing sequences are dark and Gothic.
My only confusion is the bigger picture. Is Marvel introducing this Raizo Kodo character for any reason? Why now? Does he have anything to do with the Curse of the Mutants story of the upcoming Hulk vs. Dracula thing?
Tomb of Dracula presents: Throne of Blood gets a hefty four out of five baby Hellboys. Only because I’m perplexed as to the context of the story. In an age of universe-spanning events, I need to know what this story has to do with anything else. But it’s still a great book and the story and art are very nice.
In the space of a year, Victor Gischler has managed to prove himself to be one of two writers that I trust enough to buy a book, knowing nothing more than he’s writing it.