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Dominion

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2008
By: Kyle Garret

Michael Alan Nelson
Tim Hamilton
Boom! Studios
Iím a sucker for ďend of the worldĒ stories. Walking Dead, Y: The Last Man, you name it. If itís pre-, post-, or during the apocalypse, itís right up my alley. And Iím not alone.

Enough people seem to feel the same way since we see yet another apocalyptical comic on the shelves every week. Itís getting to the point where itís hard to read them all even though thatís pretty much what you have to do so you can figure out whatís good and whatís bad; whatís innovative and whatís just a rehash of whatís come before. Iím happy to say that Dominion is the former.

Itís a bad day to live in Chicago. People are bursting into flames, turning into monsters, you name it. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the outbreaks aside from one thing: the newly empowered people just want to destroy everything they see. Yes, itís a bad day to live in Chicago; itís an even worse day to be a Chicago police officer.

Officer Dick Urbanski (oh, if only he were an inner city PI, his name would be perfect) is just trying to enjoy his day off when all hell breaks loose. After tackling a few of these humans-turned-monsters, Dick runs into Dr. Ai Tanaka, a scientist who seems to have figured out what it is that caused all this madness: a virus.

Not just any virus, mind you, but an alien virus sent to take out the human race, or have the human race take out themselves.

While the story is interesting, the true draw (no pun intended) of Dominion is the artwork by Tim Hamilton. If this is the same Tim Hamilton that drew The Trouble with Girls years and years ago, then a hearty ďwelcome backĒ is in order. His stuff has never looked better.

If thereís one hang up with this book itís the overly long expositional section when our heroes try to come up with a cure. Itís just multiple pages of lengthy dialogue, and it can lead the mind to wander away from the story and on to pretty much anything else. With the frantic pace of the action earlier in the book, it probably would have been wise to move some of the theoretical science up by a few sections; thereís no reason that Dr. Tanaka couldnít have come up with her theories earlier.

Having all the exposition crammed together in those few pages also makes it clear that itís all being laid out for the reader rather than because itís natural to the story. However, thatís a fairly minor complaint, and the rest of the story more than makes up for this one problem.

Apocalyptic stories have been around throughout human history, and they now seem to have carved out a major niche in contemporary comics--one that is becoming watered down with mediocre stories. Fortunately, there are still a few good ones left out there. You can count Dominion among them.



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