Children of the Grave #1

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2005
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Children of the Grave #1

Creator: Tom Waltz (w) And Casey Maloney (a)
Publisher: Shooting Star Comics
Address: 5665 Hwy. 9, Suite 103-140, Alpharetta, GC, 30004, USA.
Price: $2.99(US)

Colonial Akbar Assan once fought for his country, but now he and his rogue army kill out of an obsessive hatred, a mad hate that demands the deaths of any children of their enemy, leaving valley after valley full of small graves behind them. The United States government has sent one of its Black Ops teams into the area to collect evidence and put an end to the carnage, but the fields of empty graves that the three marines find and the accompanying bad dreams have them wondering what sort of enemy they face.

It soon becomes clear that some bad things are bound to happen as this story progresses, with the good guys consisting of 3 well trained killing machines facing off against a fanatic terrorist and his minions. The marines are staunch, tough talking men who prefer to be paid for killing the enemy than face their own private demons back at home. Stock standard characters these, without much new to inform readers of what the fighting man actually faces in the field.

The plotting lays things on a bit thick, dwelling on the gruesome nature of the Colonials war crimes against the children just so we get the idea he's a bad bad man. Any tension created by the supernatural aspects of the empty graves is also dissipated by the overly direct nature of the dreams that a couple of the marines have that involve children. A bit more subtlety about just about everything might have made for a more engaging story.

Casey handles the depiction of military hardware and the scary bit very well, giving the book a highly detailed look. The characters make more varied results, with the ghostly, decomposing children looking very scary, but the adult characters suffering from bland facial construction.

This could escalate into a entertaining weird war story with a contemporary flavour, well just have to keep it under surveillance.

In a Word: obvious

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