Incarnate #2-3 (Radical Comics)

incarnate2-header.jpgNick Simmons (son of KISS bassist Gene) wraps up the first story arc of his moody, manga-fied take on vampires.



60-68 pgs. ea. full color; $4.99 ea.

(W / A: Nick Simmons)


Click for a larger image.The vamps are back in town, and what a tangled web they weave.

When we last left Revenant Mot and his kill-buddy Connor, they were at the mercy of the beautiful teen queen Sibyl. Sly and precocious, Sybil is the daughter of one of the Revenant’s most formidable enemies, and she’s taken a personal interest in finding the humanity in Mot’s sulking and hateful vampire. To insure that Mot and Connor know their place, they’ve been outfitted with special collars that activate if Sybil’s life signs fade because of an attack or otherwise. Despite all their rage, they’re just a couple rats in a cage.

So, besides the love-hate tug of war between Mot and Sybil, we have the Revenant Council attempting to kill Mot for betraying them by protecting a human, Anubis the Egyptian God of Death attempting to kill Mot for the same reason, and an army of humans that simply want to wipe all of the bloodsuckers from the face of the planet. While the second issue of Nick Simmons’ Incarnate sets all of this up quite nicely, the story begins to buckle under the pressure of too many characters with too many unclear motivations and too little time to resolve them in any satisfactory fashion. The artwork by Simmons and gang still has its manga mojo, although some of the battle scenes are drawn in such an ultra-kinetic fashion, it can sometimes be difficult to follow the action. The characters are realized in such a way that we care just enough about them, but even they become hard to keep track of as the story steamrolls to its not-so-final conclusion in the third and "final" issue (we learn at the end this is ‘To Be Continued’).

Simmons does create a very unique world for his plasma-guzzlers, and I was looking to the frenetic pace of the first two issues being duplicated in the third. If it was a late-in-the-game decision to continue the series, this is good news to all, as we can finally get some answers to some of the questions that are left hanging at the conclusion. Who is the enigmatic Grynn, the orchestrator of all of these warring factions? Why is the mutated monster Dorian and the sinister Ripley so bound and determined to end Mot’s un-life instead of worrying about their survival against the humans? And what is the deal with that crazy half-bodied demon experiment hanging in the laboratory of Sybil’s father?

Though Mot and friends have had a shaky start, I have a blood-curdling suspicion that the world of Incarnate is going to be a lot of fun to explore from here on out. | Jim Ousley



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