Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Good O'l Reviews: The Stand #4

The Stand #4

In order to save the rest of us, you all have to die.

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by Mike Perkins

May 11, 2011

After a deadly plague, 99% of the world is dead, leaving behind small communities trying desperately to rebuild the human race. With life suddenly so rare and precious, it is a wonder how Harold has it in him to denote a bomb in a house full of his neighbors. Stephen King’s chilling novel of the same name is faithfully adapted, but the caption descriptions, character dialog, and detailed art have a hard time amounting to more than the sum of their parts.

Pregnant Frannie has a grave look in her eyes during a tense conversation; a group of people crowd together to discuss the traitorous Harold in a living room that looks not unlike so many White House war room photos; and Nadine, always the confident blond bombshell, finally cracks in wake of Harold’s devious actions. All of these moments are given great emotional weight by Perkins’s heavy shadowed pencils, but the consistently drab panel layout creates an agonizingly snail-like pace.

Likewise, inner character thoughts and setting descriptions are lifted almost verbatim from the novel, but end up competing with the visuals instead of adding to them. Elegantly saying a “fire-rose bloomed” hardly syncs up to the horrific image of a house exploding with people still inside.

Reading this, I am reminded of how the Watchmen movie was an incredibly faithful adaption, but somehow managed to lose the magic between the pages.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

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