Monday, April 26, 2010

Crimson Dawn #1-4 (1997)

I've been bagging up mini-series and storylines that I own in floppies that I don't own in trade, hoping that the convenience will make me pick them up and read them again. It worked the other night because I saw Crimson Dawn #1-4 sitting there and I remembered enjoying the book, so I grabbed it and gave it a re-read.

Wow, this is basically a anime series starring Angel and Psylocke, isn't it? Ben Raab lays on the interdimensional horseplay with a big, shadowy and generically evil lord of the Crimson Dawn dimension. The dimension, as near as I can tell, is basically a large castle built on top of a mountain. Angel is upset because Psylocke hasn't been the same after he saved her from injuries she suffered while battling Sabretooth. (The editors repeatedly refer back to this Sabretooth one-shot, I think I'll grab that soon.) In any case, Angel used some weird other dimensional Crimson Dawn stuff that turned Psylocke into a tattooed "ninja girl" and now she owes a debt to this other realm. This evil boss wants Psylocke to rule as his bride, so he gradually takes her over before Angel rides to the rescue. Angle gets some help from Gomur the Ancient, who looks like he just stepped out of Ninja Scroll or another anime movie.

There is some silly political stuff as we find out who is really the protector of the Crimson Dawn and who is just a protector, but who cares? Psylocke is unlikable and whiny, Angel is over-protective and full of self-doubt even as he constantly screams about his true love for Psylocke. I was pleased that there was still one "focused totality of my psionic powers" comment from Psylocke, but that isn't enough in 4 issues. The story eventually ends when Angel decides to pay the debt that he actually took out when he saved Psylocke. He pays this debt by putting a blue energy statue of himself in a giant pool of red goo. I'm not sure at all what that means for Angel (or for anyone else, actually).

Salvador LaRocca drew this, but in a VERY different style. He's much more in a Joe Mad vein, everything looks like it stepped out of a cartoon. I was amused by his take on Psylocke, in most of the panels it looks like she's wearing no pants and LaRocca always tries to twist her around so we can see both her chest and rear. Angel is built like a body builder, but at least his wings look good.

This is a pretty unnecessary series, although I will say that Psylocke is a lot more likable here than she was in her recent solo series.



un_taco said...

I have fond memories of this series because, at the time, I was madly in love with these characters. I read it now as an adult and well ... eh. Another great review!

Timbotron said...

Sometimes the old faves hold up really nicely, but sometimes they don't, you know?