In Review: Klarion #3

A story that left me with logic questions and obscured art.

The covers: Two different covers showing the title character in two different instances of peril. The first shows him feeling the effects of what happened at the end of last issue. He was kissing Zell and her hair was wrapping around him. This illustration from Felipe Smith shows Zell enjoying the pain she’s inflicting on Klarion with her hair. This looks like demonic manga. I get the evil vibe, but it also makes me smile a little with the cartoony way this comes off. I like it and love the colors used, with that lime green background excellently showing off the blues in Klarion and Zell’s hair. And how low cut is her top? I’m just saying…Take a look at the rose colored hair going around the lead’s neck. Now look just below that. I’m having chest issues here. The Variant cover is by Nathan Fox and it’s got a member of the Necropolitan Club holding Klarion down after having partially transformed him. It’s a solid cover and I love the expression on the antagonist. I would have bought this cover had it been available. Overall grades: Both A

The story: I was instantly giggling over the title of this issue’s story by Ann Nocenti. “The Swarm Abides” begins with a huge explosion. It’s the result of Zell and Klarion kissing. Zell says she’s seen a flash of something and then asks if he’s killed someone. He changes the subject, noticing that Rasp has got something in his room. It’s the little BuddyBot that appeared in the previous issue and it’s making friends. In fact, Rasp is calling it Contessa. Klarion enters in full blue mode with fist glowing. He demands the thing get off the teen, causing the mechanical character to proclaim “Ha!” before jumping on his face. He’s able to get the thing off of him. He wants to kill it, especially after seeing Coal’s logo on it, but Zell tells him to stop. He shatters the object, but it fixes itself and transforms from its spider-like body into a fully formed human. Okay, a humanoid looking mechanoid. Stunningly, they leave their friend with this thing to go Google Coal’s logo. I couldn’t believe this. So much for friendship in this book. The point of view then turns to Necropolitan Club where the book’s baddies are looking at what their BuddyBots are up to, with Klarion being a character to focus on. There’s finally a confrontation between Klarion and one of the baddies. It’s good and left me wanting more. I’m looking forward to the protagonist working his way up the villain scale to get to Cole. The final page is an odd one. I don’t know what it contributes to the plot or how it expands either character. It’s just odd. A nice fight this month, but I don’t understand why anyone would stick around Klarion and why he’s waiting to reveal the level of his abilities. Overall grade: B

The art: Issue three and there’s already some art troubles. This installment has layouts by Trevor McCarthy, with finishes by Sandu Florea, McCarthy, and Staz Johnson. I’m surprised to see this happening so soon in this series’ run. The visuals are all over the place. Some are very clear and others are muddy. The first five pages look good, but six and seven are really heavily inked. The series has had very detailed bordering placed around the panels, making the pages like a Where’s Waldo of fantasy images. This issue has the same layout, but they don’t seem as intricate. For example, Pages 8 and 9 are set upon a rather boring computer board. Pages 14 and 15 have an odd triangle pattern that has no relation to the story, setting, or tone. Whatever was supposed to be to the right of Page 17 is lost in the coloring. Ditto on 18. I would love to see what was supposed to be going on, but it’s just a black smear on the page. The final page is heavily inked, making it look sloppy compared to the rest of the issue. Really disappointing. Overall grade: C

The colors: This is a murky mess from Guy Major. I don’t understand why there’s so much darkness: Pages 5, 6, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19. I want to see what’s going on. The coloring might have been done so darkly to obscure the artwork. I don’t know. All I know is the coloring hindered my seeing what was in the page. Overall grade: D

The letters: Scene setting, narration, dialogue, sounds, opening title and credits, Contessa speak, a phone conversation, and tease for next month’s issue are created by Pat Brosseau. They’re the most consistent and successful part of this book. Overall grade: A

The final line: A story that left me with logic questions and obscured art. This might be my swam song with this series. Overall grade: C+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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