Monday, March 21, 2011

COMICS: FX Books 1 and 2 Reviewed

FX Volumes 1 and 2
Writing Wayne Osborne
Art John Byrne
Published by IDW
(Review copies provided by SphinxGroup attn: Lys Fulda)

I hate the phrase “for what it is” when reviewing, because the assumption then becomes that what I am reviewing isn’t good, unto its self. That is, by saying so it is deserving of some sort of apology at the beginning to set the playing field to even. So I won’t say that. Because there is a conceit here, that super heroes exist, and that the magic of such is not so odd as to be mind boggling unto itself. Seeing someone fight a giant gorilla, or fight movie monsters in public is odd but, by no means is it “fantastical”. So beginning from a point where I acknowledge that conceit, I move on.

FX is about young heroes, a world where magic exists, and that the powers of the Gods of the age of myth and legends of Greece are still affecting the lives of individuals. The powers of the characters are not altogether new, but feel to be fresh ones. One character is able to wield a sword of power, or propel himself with flight as if an aircraft by force of will and imagination. Another has telepathy, and telekinesis.

One plot is really about introducing the characters, to their world, to the powers they have, and to the villain they face, behind all the commotion. Another takes the friends to a new world where they are challenged by beasts from prehistory, various humanoids, evil doers, and teenage hormones?

The art by John Byrne in book one had moments of large, epic, excitement. There were some issues with wonky anatomy I thought, but overall, the work was really good. I liked what was done and for the most part I thought that the art felt new, and rather well done. The only issues I had were some of the kids looking more like shrunken adults, but, this is a comic, not a photo, so I am fine with it. The art by Uko Smith was seriously fine. It was very stylistically superior to most art depicting super heroes, and by far was enjoyable to look at and read the story through.

The writing, while at times was a bit too tied to the super hero template, was at the very least good, and most often I found it well done and entertaining. I think the characters were well designed and thought out, and the whole cast of characters seemed well wrought.

But, while the work isn’t perfect, it is quite good. In fact, I’d like more of these to be in existence. It was something of a disappointment, in a good way, to come to the end of volume two and have no more to read.

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