01/05/2012. Contributed by Andy Whitaker
pub:Arcana Comics. 86 page graphic novel/pdf file. Price: $14.95 (US). ISBN: 978-1-926914-76-3.
check out website: www.arcanacomics.com
I was interested to see if this would work as a standalone graphic novel as I had not read any of the other ‘Kade’ stories. On that level, it certainly does as Kade is described as ‘Born to war and dammed to an eternity of battling evil. The spirit of vengeance trapped in a body long dead.’ With that in mind, once you discover that pain means nothing to him then you have discovered all there is about Kade. Personality is not high on his agenda and he does not come across as the cleverest person you are going to meet.
The novel was written by Sean Patrick O’ Reilly and edited by Jay Busbee. Pencils were by Robert Gill with colours by Chandran. The letters were by Shawn DePasquale. As with other Arcana graphic novels I have seen, the artwork and graphical presentation are first rate. What will mark this novel out to be a good or bad novel is the strength of the story.
The graphic novel starts with Kade being hunted by a group of Cossacks in Russia, lead by the demon Lucifer in human form. I presume this is whom Kade has been hunting and why he is in Russia. Unfortunately, Kade doesn’t fare too well out of that encounter and becomes trapped for fifty years. When he does get free, it is just in time to learn that Lucifer is now an SS General in charge of a panzer division and driving the Soviet army before him.
The accompanying text to the novel says, ‘Demons! Nazis! An army of the dead marching under the swastika! Kade is knee deep in the middle of this madness and is once again on the hunt!’ To be honest, that just about sums up the plot. Himmler enlists the help of Lucifer who has his own plans and soon has an army of the dead. Kade is slightly more than knee-deep wading through bodies trying to get to Lucifer.
It is the somewhat abrupt ending that spoils this novel. There are just too many loose threads that aren’t resolved. It ends on page 81 with passage 14 from Isaiah 14. The remaining three pages are advertisements for other Kade novels. He certainly seems to get around a bit. Note that this review edition did not have a page 2 as it went from page 1 to page 3. Page 1 is a title/credits page and page 3 opens with Kade being hunted by the Cossacks so I’m not sure if this is just a typo in the numbering or we have missed a page.
The demonic Nazis of World War II is not a new or original idea. This novel is simply a new take on the theme and not done to its full potential. Given Kade’s very limited personality and abrupt story ending, there is only the sumptuous artwork going for this novel. While people who are already collecting the ‘Kade’ novels will undoubtedly buy it, I’m not sure if the artwork alone will be enough to make anyone else part with their money.
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