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Spartacus: Blood and Sand #1

Posted: Friday, August 7, 2009
By: Karyn Pinter

Steven S. DeKnight
Adam Archer, Tony AviŮa (c) Crank! (l)
Devil's Due Publishing
EDITOR's NOTE: Spartacus: Blood and Sand #1 will be in stores this October and is currently avaiable for pre-order.

This is the comic tie-in for the upcoming TV series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and believe me when I say itís violent. Iím not talking Rambo violent, not even moronic Saw violent. No, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is operating on a whole new level of violence. This is, ďDamn, did that 8-year old kid just beat that other kidís eye out?Ē violent. And yes, that kid did just beat out that other kidís eye, literally out, in a giant spray of Crayola red blood, in what you imagine to be super slow motion, with crunching sounds.

Now, I like violence just as much as the next girl, but damn. I mean damn, thatís a lot of blood for a comic book. The trailer for the series was finally previewed at the Spartacus: Blood and Sand panel at Comic Con, and my reaction was pretty much the same for the show as it is for the comic. Itís like 300 meets Gladiator but with 500 percent more sex, nudity, and blood. Whatís unique about the whole thing is that itís bringing the comic experience to television. I suggest you check out the trailer, but donít watch it at work or in front of your young ones. Iím pretty sure itís the only NC-17 trailer out there.

Getting back to the comic, itís a prequel of sorts and deals with the minor characters, with Spartacus in brief cameos, so itís setting up for the series release. The first issue (at least) is written by Steven DeKnight, who is also one of the producers on the show, so anyone if can make this all work it should be him. Unfortunately, Steven must be a better producer than wordsmith, because I found the dialog a bit lacking. Just because a ton of ultraviolence gets tossed at us doesnít mean we canít see through it. There needed to be more substance. Ultimately, this is just a short story about a character who probably wonít have a lot of impact on the show. I hope this story doesnít reflect whatís coming up on the multimillion dollar TV show. Steven did write for Buffy, Angel and Smallville so heís got the chops. Letís hope he shows us better in the future.

Overall, it was a fairly mediocre comic, nothing too special about it other than how amazingly violent it was. If youíre looking forward to the show then youíd probably be interested in picking up the comics just to see how they all fit in, like the edge pieces of a 1000 piece puzzle. If you couldnít care less about a bunch of mostly naked, sweaty, buff men hacking each other to tiny bits, well then just walk past this one and on to whatever it is you enjoy reading.



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