2.14.2012

Assembling The Thirty Six

The Thirty Six #3 (Fossil Creek Productions): I'm still so enamored of the high concept, the chosen few emerging from anonymity to save the world. The idea taps into a universal human condition concerning destiny, in that everyone wants to believe they are special. In this issue, Noam seeks to discover who released The Golem of Prague, as Lenore seeks additional information from her aunt. Writer Kristopher White has made an effort to clean up the pesky typos, and now I think the only slight tic he needs to continue to overcome is the occasional reliance on overt exposition, such as when Noam info dumps what he learned after reading the Golem's memory. It's such a fine line to create characters who talk to each other organically rather than talking at the audience to inform their understanding. For the most part though, the dialogue flows well, and I particularly liked the exasperated discussion about why Noan chooses not to date Lenore. Though George Zapata sometimes isn't very generous with backgrounds, his confidence is growing with the foreground figures, and also with the types of shots he uses. There's a real sense of variety and playfulness to the camera placement, and I love seeing things like the occasional inset panel to break up a sea of otherwise symmetrical layouts. The crisp coloring also helps, especially when there's unexpected action, like the Ivan/"Noah" character and his zealotry with the snakes converging. There are very cinematic shots and fun "special effects" when Noam tries to recover The Staff of Moses. Lenore and Noam have a very "Lance and Mia Wallace" moment from Pulp Fiction (you'll know it when you see it!), but overall White is doing a good job at introducing larger machinations in the plot that make a good effort toward original world-building. There are also some unstated connections which probably aren't coincidence; for example, I find it curious that Shira and Lenore's aunt are both in comas. I'm hoping there's some connection there yet to be revealed. By the end, this Mage/Hellboy/Kaballist story ends on a terrific cliffhanger that has suddenly become deeply personal for Noam, with the Leviathan: Harbinger of Doom threat. www.the36.net. Grade A.

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