Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

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Jeremiah: Birds of Prey

Jeremiah      After nearly 30 years of reading comics, I just discovered European comic creator Hermann Huppen. Now I'm wondering what took me so long.

      A couple of weeks ago, I heard about a new Showtime program that was being produced from a bestseller European comic work called Jeremiah. It sounded familiar, and after digging through some fairly forgotten comic boxes in storage, I found the two-issue reprint series Jeremiah: Birds of Prey, published by the now-defunct Adventure Comics.

      The story is post-apocalyptic in nature, and deals with two young men who join forces to put an end to the evil of a slave-trader named Fat-eye Birmingham.

      The story is as engaging as a reader could hope for, from the destruction of young Jeremiah's village by slavers at the opening, to the end, where…, ah, but that would be telling.

      Jeremiah and his unlikely partner, Kurdy, have a very enjoyable character interaction. It's Jeremiah's sheltered naiveté, opposite Kurdy's world-wise, violent (but, still strangely heroic) tendencies that capture the reader's interest, almost immediately. Hermann's wonderfully base villains don't hurt, either.

      The art is very well done. Hermann's style is highly detailed, and expressive. The characters are not rendered in an overly stylized manner; the art is grounded in reality, which is refreshing in today's comic climate. In facial expressions and body language,

      Hermann's characters communicate at least as much as is contained in the word balloons.

      The story is published in black and white, and, in my opinion, Hermann is one of those artists who does his best work in this medium, where his line work is most defined, and can be better appreciated.

      Jeremiah: Birds of Prey is worth seeking out, especially considering many comic shops will probably have it in a discount box of some type. If your local shop doesn't have it, try online auctions and retail outlets, bookstores, or comic conventions.

      Due to its language content, this comic is recommended for teens and adults. Jeremiah: Birds of Prey, published by Adventure Comics, 24 pages, $2.50 cover price.

      Review by Mark Allen

 

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