Thursday, October 11, 2012

Loveless - Blackwater Falls (Vol 3, trade)

The short lived Loveless came to a conclusion in this volume.  Unlike Azzarello's 100 Bullets, this one seemed a premature ending.  There was a rushed feeling to the conclusion, though it did reach a conclusion.

Loveless is a curious comingling of genres.  It's a Western, sort of.  It's not in the West but the Old South in the Reconstruction era.  Nonetheless, it has the sort of "shoot anything that moves" sort of atmosphere of a Peckinpah bloodbath.  It's also a bit mystical.  For this entire volume one of the main characters is now dead and his ghost is accompanying his wife and ally as she proceeds to engage in Spaghetti Western justice.  That part was a little strange for the setting and what had gone before, where there was no hint of that sort of element.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the characters.  You're not often going to find a former slave who is now a mercenary come back to the land where he used to be owned, a clear signal of a good guy in a story, who is also an admitted rapist of the wife of someone who never mistreated him personally or had anything direct to do with his being owned.  Hard to root for a rapist.  As to be expected of a less sympathetic character, he suffers quite a bit in this conlcuding volume, where he had not in the two preceding volumes.

I don't think this reaches the par of 100 Bullets, nor even what Azzarello has done so far in Wonder Woman.  Granted, 100 Bullets is a great work that's hard to reach.  But Wonder Woman has only just begun and already feels like it has an epic in store that will stand for a long time.  Loveless is far more brutal than Wonder Woman, but no more so than 100 Bullets.  That's just Vertigo versus DC, though.  This is The Wild Bunch, not Raiders of the Lost Ark, though it does have the mystical element of Raiders.

Anyway, the art switches from Danijel Zezelj to Werther Dell'Edera seemlessly.  Both are dark and heavy, fitting for this work.

If you like nasty, brutish and short, the three trades of Loveless are well worth your while.

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