Mind Capsules – Ex-Con #1 and Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #4

Ex-Con #1
Ex-Con #1

Writer – Duane Swierczynski
Artist – Keith Burns
Colours – Aikau Oliva

Leroy is a man who is good at his job.  That job just so happens to be a life of crime.  What makes him so successful is that he can read people and see their colours.  Over the years he has learned how to interpret those colours and has used them for his own selfish purposes ever since.  It has been a good life.  But now a mistake on his part has gotten him sentenced to prison for the next five years and only with the intervention of Barnaby Creed, the Pope as he is more commonly known, and the promise of a favour when Leroy gets out, is the only way will he ever survive.  So he says yes.  Reading comic books in this day and age has seen them revitalized with hundreds to choose from.  The last few years have also seen the crime genre make a comeback with some spectacular results including this very book by Duane Swierczynski.  Like the man says in his afterward, he has taken three of his favourite sub-genres and mixed them up to give us this riveting tale of a not only an ex-con, but a con-man who is more than likely going to find himself way in over his head.  Leroy, from what we know of him so far, is not the nicest of guys, but as such he is our protagonist and love him or hate him, Swierczynski makes you at least interested in him enough to follow his tale from cover to cover.  As far as a first issue goes, it does the trick by setting everything up from where the book takes place to its ‘hero’ and supporting cast.  And it is good too.  With artwork that adds to the seediness of the tale by Keith Burns and Aikau Oliva, the book is off to a strong start and one that will draw you back for the second installment.

4 out of 5

Clive Barker's Nightbreed #4
Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #4

Writer – Clive Barker, Marc Andreyko
Artist – Piotr Kowalski
Colours – Juan Manuel Tumburús

Nightbreed continues on with its stories of the strange priest that is trying to cleanse the world of evil and failing, as well as the monster woman with her children from the 1400s.  The book follows the woman and the priest as the years pass, for the woman it is hundreds and for the priest it is decades, and their travels are not easy ones.  And while this story is taking place, Boone continues his tour of Midian all the while being told of its history.  The comic continues to do a good job of slowly introducing its members while also trying to tell a narrative featuring both the good and the bad that makes its way to Midian.  Andreyko is a writer who is either doing a fantastic job as the book is so quickly paced that it is over before you know it or a bad job because it is over before you know it.  The book always feels like it is light on substance, but it does have the standard twenty-two pages so as a customer, you are getting your money’s worth.  Sure, the story could be a little heavier and feature more text perhaps, but as it is, it is effective and captivating.  The artwork by Piotr Kowalski always looks great and the visuals of the circus freaks at the end of the book are fantastic.  Though it is nice to see the story unfold naturally at its own pace, a little more dealings with Boone would be appreciated.  Otherwise, this was another solid effort from Boom and the creative team.

3.5 out of 5

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