Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Comic Review: Vanguard: Beauty & The Beasts

Rich McAuliffe reviewed Vanguard: Beauty & The Beasts on the incredibly awesome Everything Comes back To 2000AD blog and has kindly given offered to let us reproduce it here. Cheers, Rich!


Picked up a copy of this from one of the 2000AD forum regulars. All the stories are written by Dirk Van Dom with a different artist on each so I’ve made a few notes for each.

Cover by Liam Byrne:

Loved it. Felt very pop-art and features cool versions of characters from each of the four stories inside.

Atomic Call : Trendsetter.   Art by David Blankley

A cool story with a bounty hunter/thief who has a glove that basically lets her dial in whatever bit of kit she wants. Did feel a bit like a technicological version of The Mask (more the original comic than the Jim Carrey watered down movie) but the concept works really well and I really liked the artwork which makes the most of the black and white format. The story includes lots of clever over the top ideas and I especially liked the story behind the object she was there to get. Good stuff. My only nitpick? They introduce what I assume is her nemesis at the end and it looks like Sam Jackson playing the same character he plays in everything. Just like the leaked Avengers trailer, this put me off slightly, but thats just a personal thing.

Halo and the Gryphon.   Art by Louis Carter

I liked the art in this which felt very kids story book, but the story didnt grab me at all. Just not my type of thing I’m afraid. That usually means that everyone else who reads this collection will have it as their favourite. Its one of those magical fantasy type stories and I’m the one guy in the world who thinks Princess Bride was a waste of Columbo. Go figure.

Tuckers Romantic Escapes.    Art by El Chivo

A well done, darkly humerous strip that proves in the right hands it’s totally possible to tell a story in just one page. Sets up the main character to reappear in subsequent installments and makes you want to see more of his “adventures”. Nice bit of story telling.

Mammoth Jack.  Art by Owen Watts

Evil, man eating donkeys killing crazy Irish people. Whats not to love?
Definately the most over the top story in the collection and probably my favourite.Reminded me of the type of movie I love to watch after a few beers, just loads of fun.  Also a quick note to say that for a small press book the lettering in this, also by Owen Watts, was top notch, especially when dealing with the sound effects. Sets up the world and main protagonists for subsequent installments…. bring it on.

So overall a really decent collection. One semi-miss for me but played against three hits thats good going for an anthology… it’s all I usually get from 2000AD. I especially liked that coming from the same author all the stories felt different and it shows a lot of versatility in his writing. It also shows he can score some damn good indie artists, the true sign of a good small press writer.

Basically for £2 you cant go wrong with this so go over to the Vanguard Comic site and check it out for yourself

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