Artist: Sana Takeda
Publisher: Image Comics
Three issues into this series, I had all but made peace with the understanding that unless there was a major almost-180 degree change in the writing, C.B.Cebulski’s Drain was going to be an extremely leisurely (i.e. decompressed) read. I mentioned and elaborated on it in my review of the previous issue. However, one thing that slipped my mind then and which I am making up for now is that even though the plot progression might be glacial, it did serve by allowing for loads of time for character development, something which Mr. Cebulski made full use (what with all the flashback scenes).
Going into this issue, I was ready for even more of the same old, same old, pace, and even though Drain still isn’t going to win any speed contests, its pacing does pick up a bit. However, it could as well be because unlike the previous two issues, the majority of this issue takes place in present time. Even the opening flashback serves only to tie up last issue’s loose remainders.
This issue also has yet another important character making his return. Important to both Chinatsu and Freya, he is none other than the vampire who turned Chinatsu and provided sanctuary and training to Freya in her vendetta against Chinatsu. Last seen in the previous issue, the vampire Reiji is presented as a stylish debonair bad-boy. If not for his being a vampire and all the "evil" assortments it brings along with it, one would almost expect him to swagger into a diner Fonz style, an incredibly rich designer label wearing Fonz.
As expected, Chinatsu attacks the man she has been pursuing for centuries and as expected (given her blood loss), she gets easily taken down. However, instead of finishing her off, Reiji lets her have one last chance to get her revenge. For that he sets the time and place where they will have their final showdown. He says it is all just an amusement to him, just something to keep away the boredom that comes from living a (practically) eternal life, and his actions portray it as such.
(Possibly) the best thing about Drain is the artwork. Done in a semi-mature-anime style (as I worded it last time around), it has a certain polish to it that is almost ethereal in its look. Moreover, even though I am not a particularly big fan of splash pages, I liked all four here and especially the one on the last page. That one seems to be full of so many mixed, conflicting emotions that, well, I do not want to spoil its effect by putting it into words. Even more so because I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to do it the justice it demands and deserves.
Conclusion: A bit faster paced on the story front and as impressive as ever with the art. Things seem to be looking up for Drain.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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