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Rogue Angel: Teller of Tall Tales #2

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2008
By: Bruce Logan

Barbara Randall Kesel
Renae De Liz
IDW Publishing
Exclamation: “Oi! Who let the air out (of the story)?”

Explanation: This is the origin issue of Annja’s new powers. Three new characters are introduced, two of them with links to the ‘original’ wielder of the sword.

Examination: A while back I got an advance copy of a new series by writer Barbara Kesel. Not knowing much (not even the solicitation blurb) I decided to give try. Well, as my review of Rogue Angel #1 showed I rather liked Annja, Rashmi and the other characters (and the world) of Rogue Angel. Interested and intrigued I looked forward to getting my hands on the future issues.

Well, here I am again, with my review of the second installment of this five part mini-series. And I am (somewhat) disappointed.

But first, as I suspected with the first issue, the powers that Annja Creed wields now, they are directly tied to her sword. In fact, as hinted in this issue, Annja’s not the first person who has received these powers, but the second. However, what isn’t clear is whether the powers in the sword. Were they there from the get go or did they come to reside in it once the original wielder died? Given who that person was, I’d wager it was more of the latter than the former. (I am not going to spoil the identity of the first/original owner of the sword. Read the issue for that.)

Moving on and onto my comment about being (somewhat) disappointed with this issue. Well, it certainly isn’t because of the reveal of the mystery of the sword. Even though it does come off a bit clichéd, I rather liked the historical nod especially because of Annja’s being an archeologist. What didn’t work for me was the journey on the path linking the two sword-bearers. Both of the characters who get Annja to the sword, neither of them comes across anything more than a cipher, whether it is in their own portrayal or even their interaction/dynamic with each other. As for the way they are linked to the origins of the sword, I found that to be the weakest part of the issue. I mean, come on, you can’t just write both of them to be over five hundred years old and not elaborate upon it. Are they immortal? Are they tied in a continuous life-death-rebirth loop? Were they this way to start with? Or did they become this way after the sword was destroyed the first time? Without any such explanation, any scene these two chumps appear in, it loses its effect. It’s like that “Its magic so we don’t need to explain it” crap that Marvel parades out over Spider-Man’s reversal to bachelorhood.

There was also a bit about the TV celebrity style of Annja’s life. What this sequence hoped to accomplish is a mystery to me. Sure it showed up Annja’s boss to be a blowhard douche-bag, but other than that…nothing.

As for the art, the visuals of Rogue Angel #2 are as good (and bad) as those from the previous issue. Even though the proportions are more uniform now, the characters still don’t look quite their ages in some panels. As for the actions scenes, there seems to be something missing here too, as it is with the writing. Everything is by-the-book in place, yet it lacks a certain spark, a certain verve to it.

Proclamation: Loses some of the momentum set on by the first issue.

You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at http://www.xcave.net



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