Love is in the air as we approach Valentine’s Day and that means DC Comics has a holiday 80 page special for us to enjoy. In this new special DC focuses on the complex love of monsters, from Man-Bat being in love with his human persona to Monsieur Allah’s complex relationship with the Brain. No matter what this volume aims to show love can be found in the most surprising of places.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Bruttenholm and Sandhu’s mission to uncover the evasive ”Master” behind the Nazis occult experiments is derailed when they fall into the clutches of their enemy.
Why does this matter?
Action! Adventure! This issue thrusts Bruttenholm and Sandhu into the thick of things as they fight through Nazis and uncover what Rasputin has been up to all along. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Plus it has a historical focus per Christopher Roberson in our recent interview.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue can be broken down into three scenes; first the Nazis realizing that gaining occult powers requires great losses, the second focusing on Bruttenholm escaping Kroenen’s zombie lab, and finally Bruttenholm getting a bit closer to stopping Rasputin. Overall this issue has a much more action/adventure feel than previous issues as it appears we’ve gotten past most of the exposition and we’re digging into the fight portions. That’s a welcome site since some of the earlier issues were slow.
The art in this issue excels at the mystical and supernatural. You’ve never seen an Egyptian dog rip a guys jaw off quite like this. The zombies in Kroenen’s lab are also grotesque and look really cool. Flashback’s to Kroenen are also quite good (Kroenen’s design continues to look creepy as hell too). The action is easy to follow and well choreographed too.
That’s a lot of blood.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue suffers a bit due to it having to get our heroes to the end game location quickly. That means a smash cut transition from the lab to some tunnels, which left me wondering if I missed a page. Some of the fighting in the caves is also rather overdone, running on longer than one might want, especially with so little of the occult revealed and the supernatural elements reduced in favor of more action.
I’ve said this before, but it’s tiresome the title character, Rasputin, continues to be a supporting character. He finally gets more page time here, but is reduced to being more of a bystander.
Is It Good?
This issue screams set up as it focuses on getting our characters from point A to point B with surprisingly middling fight scenes. That said, it’s still an interesting adventure and I’ll be reading this one to the very end.