Gravel #5

Sep 2008 | Avatar

Writing: Warren Ellis | Mike Wolfer
Colour: Juanmar
Art: Oscar Jimenez
Cover: Mike Wolfer

The Furious Host

Gravel heads out to collect a fifth piece of the Sigsand from from the manor of the Minor Seven member he killed previously, only to be met with further resistance.

Another issue gone and he’s still without more manuscript pages; he’s fallen behind the pattern. We had some good action against the crazy guy and the host and I’m curious who that hobo looking guy with the black dog is. he was friendly, but what’s his agenda? Questions! What is he gonna do with all of the Sigsand? What would anyone else do with it? I had been hoping the others would have messed with it like the first one. That was such a wonderful horrible. Part of me still wants to see more of that and I’ll be greatly disappointed if I don’t get to see any more by the time it’s all over with.  That isn’t to say I’ll hate this book, it’ll just be a lingering pang.

After this is all over with, I’m tempted to pick up the previous stuff Gravel appeared in and see what that’s like. We’ll see how well I like this one and how I feel when it’s over.

Gravel #4

Mar 2008 | Avatar

Writing: Warren Ellis | Mie Wolfer
Colour: Juanmar
Art: Oscar Jimenez
Cover: Mike Wolfer

Ascension By Assassination

After collecting half of the Sigsand, Gravel stashes the manuscript in a protected location only to have his next target find him first.

A good bit of action in this issue. Some poor acolytes got killed in a variety of satisfying ways bringing me back to my happy place and making up for lost time from all the talking previous issue. I really needed some of that.  This and Vampirella currently have the most action of what I’m currently reading that I can think of off-hand, but it’s far more viscerally satisfying in Gravel. It’s all about the graphic gore and Avatar is usually good for this which I why I love them so much. It’s like what you see in the goriest movies in print.

I’m still enjoying this book. The second issue had disappointed me with the ghost horses and lack of a horrible to top the one in the first issue, but now things are interesting plot-wise and there’s still a satisfying level of violence when I need it.

Gravel #3

Jul 2008 | Avatar

Writing: Warren Ellis | Mike Wolfer
Colour: Juanmar
Art: Oscar Jimenez
Cover: Arianna Osborne | Mike Wolfer | Raulo Caceres | Juanmar

On Ilkley moor Baht’ At

Gravel has a chat with Sykes, the oldest of the Minor Seven, at his moor and learns a bit more about the Sigsand Manuscript.

At last! Finally I learn a little bit more about the manuscript and why everyone wants it. I’d never read any of the previous books Gravel appeared in, so I wondered if it were something I’d have known had I have done. Now I feel far more comfortable to read it knowing it wasn’t required reading.

I didn’t expect the outcome, but I knew he’d have the third page of the Sigsand by the end of it. Thus far, we’ve established a good pattern of him getting a page each issue. I can’t honestly say i know where it’s going other than I suspect he will gain the entire thing and something not entirely good will come out of it.

Despite the book merely being an informative one filling in some blanks, it provides some useful information likely to be important when things start getting serious in the future. I’d still like to see more horribles and gore. It’s what I love about Avatar.

Ruins

Ruins_0002009 | Marvel

Writing: Warren Ellis
Art: Cliff Nielsen | Terese Nielsen | Chris Moeller
Letters: Jon Babcock

This one-shot collects both issues of the mini-series and follows ex-Daily Bugle photog, Philip Sheldon as he travels the world gathering material for the book he’d like to write.

Everything that could have gone wrong in the world of Marvel, has. This is not a happy story of supers saving the world, but a twisted world saving it from supers. They are not the thrilling heroes we are familiar with, but twisted abominations of things that just went wrong in a rather dark, dystopian world. The tone of the book is heavy and depressing, grating the edges of my mind and showing me a dark world I’d like to see more of. A horrible world filled with people clinging to life and scraping away an existence from the filth they’re surrounded in.

It was a great read. I’m very fond of Ellis’ writing which, combined with the messy-gritty painted art, showed me a believable alternate world-a sad, depressing world of mostly psychological horrors from the shock of it all. To illustrate an example, a bit of material he collected for his book include a disturbing photograph of Emma Frost. She stands smiling with her arms around a bald child with Frankenstein stitching at a weird angle across the skull. Three more children stand with them. Emma is the priestess of the Church of the Next Generation. Her children are legally adopted by members of the church and undergo surgeries to awaken their psychic abilities. It’s disturbing and there’s a horror in that.

My chest feels heavy after reading this. I’m glad it is over and feel relief, yet unfulfilled from the ending. While part of me wishes to see more stories of this nature set in this “alterniverse.” the rest of me is happy that it all ended here.

Gravel #2

Mar 2008 | Avatar

Writing: Warren Ellis
Colour: Greg Waller
Art: Raulo Caceres
Cover: Mike Wolfer

The Stables of the Dead

Gravel continues his quest for the Sigsand Manuscript fragments and deals with another member of the Minor Seven who has control over a herd of ghost horses.

Well, this member of the Minor Seven used interesting magic. She manifested all spectral-ghost-like to Gravel, attempted negotiations were made, then we got down into violence where Gravel had to deal with ghost horses for several pages. We got a little bit more into things and learned the people he’s fighting against are basically scared of him, but deeper plot hasn’t surfaced yet. Overall, it was an interesting issue, but I hoped for more twisted disturbies like the previous issue. There’s still time. Fingers crossed for the next issue.

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