Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Graphic Novel Reviews: Black Metal Volume 2
The twins' foster mother, reveals herself as an Angel and returns to heaven, where she is executed by Metatron for her failure. Back in hell the group is separated, and Sam and Shawn come to their forest, while Heradoxa tries to turn them against each other.
They learn of the war in heaven, and Metatron's false nature. Shawn decides Sam needs his own sword, and they go to Valhalla to have Gorn make a new one.
Once the sword is complete, Heradoxa succeeds in turning Sam against Shawn, and the two fight. They are evenly matched and reconcile after their conflict. But they are weakened, and Satan comes and steals their swords, cutting the brothers in half.
Despite the cliffhanger ending of the first volume, I'm honestly surprised this got a sequel. The first volume felt like a complete story. It was a stupid story, but complete nonetheless. That being said, Black Metal volume two is significantly better than volume one. It's still pretty dumb, but dumb in a less contrived way.
There's absolutely no subtlety to the story, and that's the way it's meant to be. It's big, loud, and frankly just a little bit silly. Okay, more than a little bit.
The inclusion of heaven in the story was a welcome addition, though as someone of the religious disposition I get a bit annoyed by negative portrayals of heaven. However, as a former English major, I know how important artistic freedom is. This includes art that disagrees with my own sensibilities.
The whole thing has a strange high art vibe. The dialogue is deliberately archaic and stilted, reminiscient of ancient Christian poetry. I'd almost say that there is a Paradise Lost vibe in this piece, but I'm afraid if I actually said that fellow English majors would laugh me out of the program. Remember, this is a very silly comic, and I'm not sure how seriously I should be taking it.
I couldn't ever say that I hated Black Metal. I was entertained, but not engaged. The writing style felt too archaic for me to fully become invested, but the mythology created by Spears and BB is very interesting, fusing Christian and Norse mythology together. Overall this was an enjoyable volume, but not something that I see myself coming back to in the future. I will admit to being interested enough to read the third volume, but it's not a pressing urge.
Also, there were definitely moments where I connected with the characters more. Shawn managed to come across as a likable character. This volume took a few of my concerns and ironed some of the issues out, but it didn't quite get all the way there. Most of my concerns from the first volume are still here, but the core of the story is much stronger and quite a bit more engaging than volume one.
Recommended if you want a quick read and a quick laugh, and maybe others will like it more than I did. There's definitely an audience for this kind of comic, I'm just not one of them. So if you're not in the mood for some stupid fun, then you might want to skip this volume.
Buy it Here! Black Metal Volume 2