Thursday, February 16, 2017

Appendix N Comics: The Chronicles of Solomon Kane

So today I'm going to start what I hope to be a series of posts featuring Appendix N and A-N type comic books. I'm starting with one of Robert E. Howard's more adapted creations, the Puritan swordsman, Solomon Kane! This will be specifically discussing the Chronicles volume from Dark Horse Comics, a reprint of Marvel Premiere 33-34 and The Sword of Solomon Kane miniseries.

Here's the cover, for those that missed my twitter preview shot:

Not the Punisher, this guy travels, believes in God, faces devils, magic, and more, and yet holds on to faith.

Now, in some ways one of this collection's strengths is also a weakness. The Marvel Premiere issues and issue one of the miniseries both cover the same story, Red Shadows.  Honestly, I like having both adaptations. I think the Premiere issues had a better strength of adaptation, but the single issue version strikes me as having slightly better pacing. The earlier version has a different art style that comes off as a bit more primal, while the newer comes off as more geared toward the impressions of pose and action a movie presents. I haven't checked the prose, but I would not be shocked if the earlier was more tightly adhering to the original, but they're both well done.

For the miniseries, the artist changes halfway through, and goes through new artists each issue. Not a problem, as these are each a single tale of Solomon Kane. Mike Mignola pencilled issue four, The Prophet, and while I'm not a fan of Hellboy, I like his art. There's a good balance of action, meditation, and the mysterious present in the tale.

The miniseries closes with the story Wings of the Night, one as creepy as they can really come. Misguided worship, demon sacrifices, and a massacred village mark the way for Solomon's judgement. As an afterword, this issue also had the story Solomon Kane's Homecoming, a poem wonderfully adapted, with sparse panels to allow room for the poem to work.

All told, this is great stuff. Next time(hopefully not more than a fortnight), I'll take a look at some Tarzan.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

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