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Review Group Week #286: Severed #1

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BlueStreak

The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:26 pm

Asmodeus Jones wrote:Was that supposed to be Mr Portman on the last page or something new? I keep flipping back and I just can't tell, especially since it's partially-undressed as well.


I'm pretty sure that's him. They showed him taking out his teeth after all.
User avatar

Starlord

Outhouse Editor

Postby Starlord » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:08 pm

Never mind, I know exactly what I'm picking and yes it is the last chapter of a story and I don't care. Most of you will go out of your way not to buy nor read it anyway. Those of you who do and hate DC will not like it and those of you who already know the greatness of Snyder will be happy. That's probably me and Punchy but hey, whatever.

Detective Comics #881
Image
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Eli Katz

OMCTO

Postby Eli Katz » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:33 pm

Looks cool!
User avatar

alaska1125

dINGO

Postby alaska1125 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:42 pm

I totally want to read Snyder's Tec run. If I just go in for the final Joker story, am I getting a good run, or, is it as I'm assuming, something more of a longer form?
User avatar

guitarsmashley

Regular-Sized Poster

Postby guitarsmashley » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:44 am

Eli Katz wrote:Looks cool!


Honestly, you should check out snyder's tec run. It's been really good.
User avatar

Stephen Day

Wrasslin' Fan

Postby Stephen Day » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:57 am

I'm not sure if my LCS will have Severed #1. They sometimes surprise when it comes to first issues. My friend who loans me his comics gave me Thunder Agents #8 this week so even if I can't review Severed, I'll be able to review something from a previous Review Group week.
User avatar

Stephen Day

Wrasslin' Fan

Postby Stephen Day » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:59 am

Starlord wrote:Never mind, I know exactly what I'm picking and yes it is the last chapter of a story and I don't care. Most of you will go out of your way not to buy nor read it anyway. Those of you who do and hate DC will not like it and those of you who already know the greatness of Snyder will be happy. That's probably me and Punchy but hey, whatever.

Detective Comics #881
Image


Like Thunder Agent, this is a series my friend gets and eventually loans to me. As such I'll be participating in next week's RG, but sadly not right away.

******

Postby ****** » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:23 am

As usual, glad it's not GLX's week to pick.

Bummed the pick wasn't Hatfield or Red Robin since ripping on second tier DC books is fun, but 'Tec will do. ;)

Seriously, how does spellcheck change Batgirl to Hatfield? Fuggin weird man.
User avatar

Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:59 am

I love Snyder, but I don't actually read Detective Comics (Batman And Robin and Batman Incorporated are the only Bat-titles I need), so I'll be interested to check this out.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:01 am

Severed #1(of 7) - 'Nothing Wasted' - Snyder, Tuft & Futaki

Story - Scott Snyder is one of those writers who's rapid ascent up in the industry proves that comics really isn't as closed-off and insular as many think. 2 years ago nobody had heard of this dude, but then, with a little help from Stephen King, his American Vampire was hitting headlines and becoming one of Vertigo's biggest sellers. Now he's set to write Batman and Swamp Thing in the new DC relaunch, and American Vampire is doing so well as to earn a tie-in mini-series. But up until now all of his work has been for one company, DC/Vertigo, can Snyder make the leap to Image Comics and the world of Indies? You're dam right he can.

Snyder, and co-writer Scott Tuft have put together a really interesting book here, and one which horrifies and delights in equal measure. One of the best things about American Vampire is how skilfully Snyder melds American history with horror and Vampires. In Severed, the two Scotts do the same thing, but with a different type of horror. Whereas American Vampire is dealing with, well Vampires, the more supernatural side of horror, Severed is about more realistic dangers, and a very human terror. Snyder and Tuft effectively combine this with a pitch-perfect depiction of Great Depression-era America.

I've always been fascinated by this era of America's past, I know we are in a depression right now, but that first one just seemed so much better. Obviously it was a fucking terrible time to live in, but there's something romantic about it, the way people like Woody Guthrie sing about it and John Steinbeck write about it, just make it seem somehow beautiful. Just like Michael Scott (we even share a birthday, March 15th) in The US Office, I have a secret desire to ride the rails as a travelling Hobo. Which is what our young hero does in this issue, and the scenes where he jumps onto the train are just a delight.

Those scenes are contrasted well with another young boy, who believes he is getting a job at General Electric, and is driven by his benefactor out into the woods. The sense of fear here is electrifying, you know something bad is happening, but you don't know what. The best horror is a slow-build, a creeping dread, and then a release of shock. And the last page of this issue is certainly a release.

I do have one quibble with this book, and it's the structure. The book opens in the late 50s and early 60s, and then flashes back to the even further past. I kind of question the wisdom of showing that our main character survives the story (albeit not without losing an arm), it kind of lessens the suspense if you know he survives to a ripe old age. Although there is a story going on in the 'present' too, so there may be some suspense there.

Severed #1 is a great book, and apart from one small problem, I'd heartily recommend it, if you're a fan of Snyder's DC work, then stop out of Warner Brother's loving embrace and into the arms of Image, and if you're a fan of horror, then this is one of the few books of that genre on the market that is actually pretty scary.

Art - Attila Futaki is an artist I am unfamiliar, but apart from having an awesome name (Attila! Bad-ass!), he proves himself to be a great artist here. His art has a painterly feel, and at times reminds me of Norman Rockwell paintings, but a bit less clean and shiny. It evokes America's past, but still conveys the horror. I think this guy might have a bright future ahead of him.

Best Line - 'Behind these pearly whites, I got Razor Sharp teeth'

8/10
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Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:08 am

Jonathan Carroll wrote:
I'm pretty sure that's him. They showed him taking out his teeth after all.


Hopefully you don't think I missed that, but it's the only indication (to me) that it's him, was my point. The clothing looks different (undone?), and the facial features, perhaps because distorted with zombie-ness or perhaps not, just don't jibe for me when I flip back. And I notice you are "pretty sure" too--I'm just asking because a) I wasn't 100% sure if that's what I was meant to be seeing and b) if that's the case, it's a problem with the final page reveal that would affect my score. A flaw in otherwise near-perfect artwork in this issue.
User avatar

BlueStreak

The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:13 am

Asmodeus Jones wrote:
Hopefully you don't think I missed that, but it's the only indication (to me) that it's him, was my point. The clothing looks different (undone?), and the facial features, perhaps because distorted with zombie-ness or perhaps not, just don't jibe for me when I flip back. And I notice you are "pretty sure" too--I'm just asking because a) I wasn't 100% sure if that's what I was meant to be seeing and b) if that's the case, it's a problem with the final page reveal that would affect my score. A flaw in otherwise near-perfect artwork in this issue.


Oh, I agree with that. If looking at art alone, it's a little unclear who that's supposed to be.
User avatar

Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:56 am

Jonathan Carroll wrote:
Oh, I agree with that. If looking at art alone, it's a little unclear who that's supposed to be.


I just wanted to make sure it wasn't just me. I loved the artwork, the 1950s scenes got the feel of those post-war homes and the colors and stuff just right. But, the final page reveal left me confused and doing a lot of flipping back and comparing and it wasn't thebestl way to finish off reading the comic. Not a huge deal, but not ideal either.
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Comic_Doctor

Motherfucker from Hell

Postby Comic_Doctor » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:27 am

No Severed review from me this week :(
I will be reviewing next week for sure.

Royal Nonesuch

Staff Writer

Postby Royal Nonesuch » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:12 pm

Punchy – no part of this issue takes place during the Depression. It starts in the late 1950's, and the flashback stuff takes place in 1916, which is over a decade before The Crash.

As to my review:

I love the artwork in Severed #1. It has a great, painterly feel, and the body language, textures, and sense of place are fantastic. It's a really sharp-looking book. Attila Futaki really captures the period of the story very well. The story juggles a lot by switching time periods, locations, and characters, and it all makes sense thanks to Futaki. That's not to say that the writing isn't up to par. Scotts Snyder and Tuft craft and interesting, well-paced story that's builds up the creepy tension and establishes a lot about its characters very efficiently. I really liked this issue a lot.

8.5.

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