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Third chapter of the reviews of Bonelli books made by Brian Scot Johnson (from the Khepri Comics Online site).

(Khepri Comics)
American Bonelli:
the reviews of numbers 3

editors: Marco Gremignai & Fabrizio Gallerani
Text and logo by Brian Scot Johnson
(c) 1998-1999 Khepri Comics Online

Dark Horse/Bonelli
Dylan Dog #3 (of 6)
Memories from the invisible world
Tiziano Sclavi (Writer, Creator)
Giampiero Casertano (Artist)
Mike Mignola (Cover)

THE HYPE: The Nightmare Investigator is recruited by a prostitute - Bree Daniels - to uncover the mystery behind a sudden rash of brutal, serial murders committed against escorts in London. Is this another Jack the Ripper? Find out in this new Bonelli horror / crime book - with an oddly romantic twist!

THE STORY: DYLAN DOG teams with Bloch, a Scotland Yard Inspector, in working with Bree Daniels to put an end to these murders. Dylan gets 5000 pounds and "free service" for his participation on the case, but ultimately finds himself falling for Ms. Daniels. One killer confesses, but a second rears his head to assault Bree. Even then, a third lashes out! How does the invisible narrator of this tale play into all of this? Is he friend or foe?

THE WRITING: Sclavi turns in another solid story, toying with the legends of Jack the Ripper and the Invisible Man. His opening sequence, the narration by the Invisible Man, is some nice work in psychology, a wonderfully insightful look at the loneliest of souls. Like the other Dylan Dog stories so far, Sclavi hits on some very real, very universal emotions to drag his readers further into his story. Excellent stuff. Sclavi writes with a passion in his work that few American authors find with their spandex and super-heroes - He would certainly write an amazing HELLBOY.

THE ARTWORK: Casertano is the third artist in three issues, but like those before him, he makes the story his own. He uses black space a little less than some of the other Bonelli artists, but he has a special ability to make ugly people *really* ugly and beautiful people radiant beyond words. It's like their exteriors match their inner beauty (or lack thereof!). He does some nice stuff with the Invisible Man, but his best moments are on the opening narration sequence, wherein the Invisible Man's caption lie between panels - very Frank Miller. Casertano could certainly find work in America on some of Vertigo's various crime and horror titles.

THE BOTTOM LINE: DYLAN DOG serves up another spectacular issue. The Bonelli and Dark Horse people certainly came together to select some amazing stories for the Italian Introduction here in America. Let's hope Dark Horse translates some more titles and issues into English - that, or this is one reviewer who'll need to learn Italian! This would most certainly appeal to readers enjoying Alan Moore's LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN.
Grade: A.


Dark Horse/Bonelli
Martin Mystery #3 (of 6)
The sword of King Arthur, part two
Alfredo Castelli (Writer, Creator)
Giancarlo Alessandrini (Artist)

THE HYPE: The exciting conclusion to last month's cliffhanger ending... Will MARTIN MYSTERY make the connections between the Nazis, the sword Excalibur, the Martians, and Stonehenge? Tv's X-FILES has nothing on this conspiracy thriller that literally spans time and space... for roughly 200 pages of story and art!

THE STORY: Martin, Java, and Miss Helda travel Europe in an effort to destroy the all powerful weapon of myth and legend: Excalibur. But obstacles stand in their way... in the form of Martin Mystery's opposite number... Sergej Orloff! Can they elude him and destroy the weapon? Or will Martin claim the power as his own? Find out in an episode that tries to answer many questions with a single answer!

THE WRITING: Castelli tells a rather intriguing tale that showcases Martin Mystery as an almost prototypical Indiana Jones or Fox Mulder. His questions lead to deeper ones; his adventures lead to wilder ones. Castelli has said his work suffers from too many talking heads, but that is not the case in this issue - the action takes the characters - good and evil - all across Europe, and ultimately, into a sci-fi realm believed to be Avalon! This should please most any conspiracy fan...

THE ARTWORK: Alessandrini continues to run hot and cold. In moments of brilliance, his artwork looks like Jim Aparo inked by Joe Kubert. The problematic aspects of his artwork lie in the intense linework on his faces and figures - cross-hatching and linework that needs better definition. The desire for detail is there, but the execution lacks a subtlety in the weight of the lines - facial lines and wrinkles cut deeper and darker than eyebrows, even on the Neanderthal Java!

THE BOTTOM LINE: MARTIN MYSTERY, like all Bonelli books, is not about the artwork. These Italian wonders focus on storytelling, and when push comes to shove, Alessandrini pulls it together to tell a solid tale. Every panel may not be a single work of museum-quality art, but the overall effect (of the story) is quite positive. It feeds the mind and fuels the imagination. Castelli has an extraordinary adventurer on his hands, one which would certainly entertain those who are enjoying Alan Moore's new titles.
Grade: B+.


Dark Horse/Bonelli
Nathan Never #3 (of 6)

We are sorry... but the review of this book hasn't appeared in the Khepri Comics Online site yet.
Here the message of Brian Scot Johnson:
Waiting for the review of #3, we insert also the cover of the fourth book of Nathan Never that hasn't appeared on the Dark Horse site.



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