Crossroads Alpha: Indie Haven Muse Hack Psycho Drive-In Seventh Sanctum

Shinku #3

A comic review article by: Ray Tate

Shinku stalks the vampires that roam in the night. Meanwhile, Davis searches for a means to destroy the blood-sucking fiends once and for all.

Ron Marz adds to his story by making Shinku an even greater pragmatist. She didn't save Davis from the vampires for purely altruistic reasons. She chose him for the same reasons the vampires targeted him. She sees in him the means to end her hunt forever. The vampires identified him as a threat.

Davis Quinn

Davis is a biologist, and that makes him dangerous. As he peers through the microscope, he unveils the secrets of vampire metamorphosis. In this respect, Shinku resemblesthe zero-budget movie Night of the Blood Beast. blood cells transform normal cells. In essence, a domino effect occurs in the victim until they turn.

The proposed vampiric transformation is rooted in the world of disease. Alterations of the genome can for example create sickle-cell anemia; characterized in the production of distorted red blood cells. The realistic grounding strengthens Marz's story. The metamorphosis isn't just stuff and nonsense. Fairy dust isn't involved, and Shinku becomes soft science fiction.

As Davis works, Shinku hunts, but in this episode, the hunter becomes the hunted. The vampires set a trap for our champion, and the cliffhanger situation looks bad, albeit not before monstrous scarlet ribbons through the air.

Splish-Splash

Lee Moder's sinewy designs for anatomy create a terrific look for Shinku and enhance the action in such a way where the characters themselves flow with the narrative. Colorist Mike Atiyeh mutes most of the hues to create an almost sepia look to the normal world but then highlights the scarlet uniform of Shinku and the blood she draws. As well, he brings out a glaring pink almost serves as a poisonous animal's warning to a predator. It as well emulates some of the cinematography prevalent in eighties films where a single theme shade washed over the screen and New Wave neons flashed like traffic lights. All and all, a lovely look for a gruesome subject.


Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.

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