Saturday, December 11, 2004

Children of the Voyager

It's refreshing to go back and read something put out by Marvel and not dealing with superheroes. It's just too bad that you have to look to Marvel's UK division to find the majority of the non-superhero titles. This four issue miniseries was one of four Frontier titles that were put out by Marvel UK. I haven't read the other three, but after looking at the ads for them and reading this one, it seems like Marvel UK was trying to create an alternative to DC's Vertigo line but, unfortuantely, it didn't work out so well.

In Children of the Voyager, Nick Abadzis creates a dark, if somewhat illogical, tale about a horror author haunted by bad dreams. He dreams become so real and threatening that he consults a witch to see if she can somehow exorcise the demon in him or find a way to relieve his dreaming.

By forcing him into a trance she finds out that he is not a real person and doesn't possess a soul. He is actually a small seed of an ethereal being called the Voyager. Apparently the Voyager plants seeds of himself throughout humanity in an attempt to understand what it means to be human. He is forced to do this in order to return to the next plane (loosely referred to at one point as heaven). With all of that known, the witch attempts to save our haunted author by getting into a magical war with the Voyager while the author tires him out by talking about juvenile existentialistic ramblings about what constitutes a soul.

This story would have been a lot better if we weren't expected to believe so many things without explanations. The Voyager is some mystical being whose purpose isn't really explained other than he is trying to return to the next plane of existence. It is also unexplained why the author differed from many of the other children of the Voyager (almost all of the children are robot like automata that possess only a modicum of intelligence). Why the witch's magic works against the Voyager is also left unexplained. Does the Voyager have some connection to earthly magic? I guess it could be assumed so, but I hate having to assume details to be true in order for a story to make sense.

The bright side of all of this is that the art is pretty good. It has a very angular and harsh tone to it, which suits this story perfectly. It reminded me a little bit of Jae Lee if he was rushing his work. The art definitely fit the story and helped make it easier to let some of the missing elements of the story slide.

If you want to read a miniseries that is similar in tone and content to the movie In the Mouth of Madness, then give this a whirl. I picked it up for $2.00 and I think it was worth the money. I might have even paid up to $4.00 for it!

Art: 3.75
Story: 3
Overall: 3

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