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Victorian #24

Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2004
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Len Wein, Trainor Houghton
Artists: Claude St. Aubin(p), James Taylor(i), Mike Garcia(c)
Publisher: Penny-Farthing

This issue of The Victorian fails to live up to the compliments I have been paying it since its first act. I'm sure this drop in quality represents a mere fluke because this is either the second or third issue that has been average. Ultimately though, there's no shirking the feeling that were The Victorian a prose novel, this is the chapter that you would skip or skim.

Claude St. Aubin's usual mastery over the artistic fields falters badly. Gaffes in scale occur. On more than one occasion, characters' hands seem to grow to gargantuan size between panels. The faces somewhat look flat or malformed. Overall, I would have to say that these errors were due to a deadline breathing down everybody's neck and perhaps a few comicon preoccupations. Still, rushed Claude St. Aubin isn't awful to experience.

The story's off to a bad start when a second recap summarizes again what occurred. Not much happens in this tale apart from a "gathering of eagles" to borrow from Moondragon. For regular readers, the issue is a mostly painless bore. For newcomers, it's a good introduction, but I fail to see the logic in introducing a reader so late in the game.

This issue of The Victorian isn't of course all stagnant. The scene in which Eudora discovers that the Hat is really Trace shows the reader why the series has earned my esteem. Charming, characteristic and well staged, the revelation twists conventions. The Hat underplays the importance of his guise and emphasizes the rationale behind his cover. In turn, Eudora does not suddenly lose her intellect and run off to be captured. She listens and displays the growth she has experienced throughout the entirety of the story. Not the best issue of The Victorian but this second part offers still some interest to hold your attention.



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