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Wrath of the Titans #1
writers: Darren G. Davis and Scott Davis
artists: Nadir Balan and Joey Campos

The confession I'm about to make may stun some of you. Please do not ask me to throw away my fanboy credentials, but I have never seen Ray Harryhausen's Clash of the Titans. I did, however, read the Alan Dean Foster novelization, so that must count for something.

In fact, it may be better, so that I can approach Blue Water Comics' first Harryhausen revival with a fresh eye, because the problem with a lot of comic book continuations of movies, especially older movies, is that they just don't work as comics.

Wrath of the Titans does.

Set some five years after the events of the film, the book establishes the setting quite nicely. It helps that most of the names are from mythology anyway, but even then, this is about what happens after happily ever after. You get peace for a while, sure, but eventually someone has to come along and spoil it.

If not a human tyrant, then it will be one of the spoiled children that these fictional Greeks worship as gods. Not that Perseus is perfect, either. As drawn by Balan, a touch of ego goes right along with the fabulous hero's physique. Yet how can he not? He's got a kingdom and he's got Andromeda, rescued from the Kraken.

Of course, certain gods aren't happy about them. Certain gods aren't really ever happy. While Perseus uses the gifts of the gods to take on an earthly tyrant, the denizens of Mt. Olympus plot against him.

The Davises have sketched out a good setting, and balance their environment with enough story to make this a worthwhile revisit. Perseus actually gets to accomplish a couple of goals before the cliffhanger ending. It's well-paced, and well drawn.

Choosing to color directly over the pencils gives the book a good storybook quality. Like with Dynamite's Army of Darkness books, the art here looks vaguely cartoony, veering just slightly into physical exaggeration.

It's a good choice that allows Balan to capture the essence of Harry Hamlin's physicality without having to achieve a spot on likeness. For all I know, they might not legally be allowed to do so. Instead, you get a Perseus that could match up to your prior vision if you want. There's also no complaining he doesn't look right.

It's also just downright dynamic, allowing for the grotesque but never in a way that's truly scary, just like Harryhausen's original work. For fans of Harryhausen, too, Blue Water includes some concept sketches for unproduced sequences and films. As a tribute, it's better than an art book, because Wrath of the Titans is really about carrying the master's vision forward.

Wrath of the Titans #1 hits stores tomorrow (May 31st) and a special cover version will be available at SuperCon in San Jose on June 2 and 3.

For more of this week's comics reviews, click here...

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about it on the forums!

Derek McCaw


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