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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

THE QUESTION by O'Neil/Cowan #7 - #11

Got delayed on my QUESTION re-reading during the hiatus. Last time I got up to #6.

#7 brings us "Survivor", the story of long-time Hub City gambling kingpin Volk and his attempts to come clean. Oh, and he's also a wolf of some sort. This is a nice example of how the occasional fantasy elements were handled in the series, in a sort of sideways "did it happen, what does it mean" kind of way instead of the more explicit uses of fantasy in most super-hero comics. A lot of really nice scenes for Cowan/Magyar to shine.

#8 is another one of my favourites, "Mikado", about Vic's search for a connection in a string of "fitting vengeance" related attacks in the city accompanied by a figure dressed in a Mikado costume quoting Gilbert and Sullivan's opera. This is a really well constructed story, does a great job of bringing up a few questions, keeping up the suspense and moving along the overall plot of the series.

#9 - #11 form the three part Santa Prisca story, where Vic's scientist pal (and inventor of his faceless mask) Aristotle Rodor gets kidnapped and taken down to the tropical crime haven and Vic has to follow. A lot of nice scenes on the way down there, I especially liked the bit where Vic has a flashback to his college days and then goes for information to a guy from those days, now in the DEA.

Down in Santa Prisca, the story takes a turn for the weird as we find out that the kidnapper is a drug lord who simultaneously revels in and is repulsed by his own sadistic behaviour, and who hopes to use Rodor's scientific knowledge to transform mud to gold and cleanse his soul. It's an interesting echo of some of the major conflicts that Vic faces in himself in the course of the series, and ends with a similar use of magic as we saw in #7.

Next time around, a few more favourite stories, including a trip to the northwest and a meeting with the local hero, who O'Neil had some experience with.

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