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Midnight Mass. Here There Be Monsters #2

Posted: Sunday, February 29, 2004
By: Ray Tate



Part Two: "Orion"

Writer: John Rozum
Artists: Paul Lee, Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh(c)
Publisher: DC

This issue of Midnight Mass. opens with a James Bond type finish to a previous adventure. The scenes express Julia Kadmon's trust in her husband Adam, and gives without exposition the gist of Julia's skill with magic--not very good. The scenes also identify the Kadmons' rival Jack Sparks.

John Rozum cuts away from the Kadmons to introduce a different type of entity who is a secondary character in the story. The narration poetically describes his creation and shows that not all monsters are interested in death and destruction. Orion the hunter--beautifully imagined by colorist Sherilyn Van Valkenberg and given an interesting font for his musical, magical speech by letterer Janice Chiang can probably carry his own series--assuming he lives.

Orion's appearance gives Mr. Rozum the opportunity to detail for new readers as well as the faithful fan Magellan's ugly plans for the world. The treatment of such a beautiful creature like that of Orion emphasizes Magellan's evil. What he did to Orion offscreen is perverse, and there is irony in the way Magellan accomplishes his aims.

The behavior of the monsters who want to live in houses and have the things of humans, essentially civilization, become recruits to Magellan's war through tribal means. Magellan by using such means denotes his canny understanding of the world of monsters and humans.
A visitor to the Kadmons--knee deep--in another case opens up a door to Adam's history, and the conversation hints at the origins of Magellan. The origin intrigues, but fans will need to wait next issue since the pages run out and stop at a cliffhanger introducing the Council.

As I said in a previous review, I loved Paul Lee's Buffy the Vampire Slayer artwork, but I'm still not sure what to make of Lee's take on the Kadmons. Lee's art is proportionate and without a doubt pretty--which makes the ghoulish additions at the end even more so, and this issue Lee finds a character and makes her his own.

Nothing bad can be said about Midnight Mass. The story revolves around interesting characters. The dialogue expresses a maturity lacking in most books, and the situations switch from outright action and suspense to thoughtful fantasy without so much as a bump.



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