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Curse Of The Cortes Stone #1

01/05/2012. Contributed by Andy Whitaker

Buy Curse Of The Cortes Stone #1 in the USA - or Buy Curse Of The Cortes Stone #1 in the UK

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pub:Arcana Comics. 36 page comic/pdf file. Price: $ 3.95 (US).

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This is billed as a ‘War Of The Independents’ tie-in novel starring The Wraith, Shadowflame and Johnny Saturn. This is the first of what looks like a new series and was written by Frank Dirschel with Joe Martino and Scott Story. The fact that these three gentlemen hold the copyrights on the three superheroes might or might not have something to do with it. However, we also have: Penciller: Roland Bird, Inker: Jeff Austin, Letterer: Johny Lowe and Colorist: Rick Hannah.

I have looked at a few Arcana graphic novels recently and this comic has the same look and feel. The artwork and overall presentation is first rate. The first two pages are taken up with pictures of the Earth and telling us that there is a threat that could destroy our peaceful existence. One that is unlike anything anyone could imagine. The last sentence is, ‘Let the war begin…’

Page 3 opens with The Wraith sat looking over a building in Metro City and pondering. I wonder if Metro is short for Metropolis - isn’t that where Superman lives? Anyway, the villains arrive and turning over to page 4, we have a title splash informing us that The Wraith, Shadowflame and John Saturn are in ‘The War Cometh…’ Really? I wonder why it was not mentioned on the cover.

The story concerns the theft of major archaeological artefacts and relics. The thefts are being carried out by creatures that defy description. While The Wraith attempts to deal with the villains from page 4 he is joined by Shadowflame and then Johnny Saturn before retiring to The Wraith’s base. Things then go from bad to worse when the dead start to rise and march towards the gallery that held the Cortes Stone.

During his combat with the zombies, Shadowflame is given a cryptic message to relay to The Wraith. There is also a note that you will have to see upcoming editions of ‘The Wraith’ comic for the conclusion. In fact, there are quite a few notes to let you know that something of relevance occurred in another comic. They even give you the name of the comic and the edition in case you feel the urge to go and buy it.

Just as Shadowflame is relaying this message to The Wraith, two characters dressed in green pop up out of nowhere to tell the super-heroes that they are needed to fight a great evil and only together can they prevail. They then disappear and err…that’s it and we are only on page 28. The remaining 7 pages are taken up with either adverts’ for other Arcane comics or full page pictures of our three superheroes.

So to recap we know there is a threat that is unlike anything anyone could imagine but we don’t know what it is. There is also a war coming but we don’t know who or what it is with and we only know that it is coming from the ending text on page 3 ‘Let the war begin…’ and the title for this edition ‘The War Cometh…’ This is the opening edition in what might be a long running series but I’m not sure who will part with $3.95 for a comic that does not tell you anything of substance.

Andy Whitaker

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This book has 55 votes in the sci-fi charts

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