Current Reviews


Kolchak: Tales of the Night Stalker #2

Posted: Sunday, February 22, 2004
By: Ray Tate


Writer: Dave Ulanski
Artists: Chris Marrinan(p), Keith Williams(i), Ken Wolak and Dawn Groszewski(c)
Publisher: Moonstone

The first thing I noticed about Kolchak was the title of the story: Kyrie. It sounded vaguely avian, and soon in the book readers meet the ravishing red-headed Lorelei. I suspected Dave Ulanski intended to fuse the myths of the sirens and the harpies. Instead he pits Carl Kolchak against an old foe from the television series. The surprise is not a disappointment.

Kolchak's work is unappreciated and usually ridiculed--often by his best friend and editor Tony Vincenzo. Mr. Ulanski in the story shows that Carl's work is highly appreciated by some, and this gives importance to his crusade. The appreciation of Carl's work provides a strong motive for the antagonist, and Ulanski also contrasts Kolchak's more exciting habits of vampire hunting--Janos is not back--to placid and woolier stories such as the connection between space aliens and house pets. The rather whimsical fancy simultaneously shows that a Carl Kolchak at rest still manages to uncover weirdness. It also gives Tony--who has in the past been more of an accomplice to Carl's forays into the supernatural--a motive for doubting the veracity of Carl's macabre finds. He believed in a vampire and in a Night Strangler but not a Rakasha? Why not?

Needless to say Mr. Ulanski draws his characters directly from the television series. Often you can hear Darren McGavin's narration or Simon Oakland's bombast. Added to the briefly seen but welcome Miss Emily and Ron Updike, series of characters nicely culled from the seventies stable of character actors fill the panels. I'd cast Tanya Roberts as Lorelei.

Chris Marrinan renders a passable likeness to the stars of the show. Overall he does a good job of keeping things moving and staging an imaginative episode that's well creepy. With the softening inks of Keith Williams, Mr. Marrinan's artistic competence increases especially when illustrating the fresh faces. Subdued colors by Ken Wolak and Dawn Groszewski complete the picture; though I could have sworn Carl was a redhead.

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