Xombi 19 (December 1995)

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Talk about padding. Before I forget, the fiancée does come up again for a brief mention. No appearance, but a mention.

The issue itself is David and the Rabbi going through some more strange stuff and then waiting for this ancient, immortal woman. It turns out she’s David’s soulmate or something, but he doesn’t know it yet and she isn’t sure she’s going to tell him. Rozum’s dragging this meeting out—the issue ends on the softest of cliffhangers, David being brought to see her.

There’s action, at least the implication of it, elsewhere though. These super bad guys—bogeymen dread, which sounds too Judge Dredd to me—have escaped. One would think they would be the villains in the story arc, but it doesn’t seem likely. Instead, the villain is Rozum.

He can’t get around to doing anything. His details are neat but inessential.

But nothing in Xombi’s essential.

CREDITS

Hidden Cities, Part Three: City in the Clouds; writer, John Rozum; artist, J.J. Birch; colorist, Noelle C. Giddings; letterer, Agnes Pinaha; editor, Jaqueline Ching; publisher, Milestone.

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Xombi 18 (November 1995)

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This issue, concentrating on the second xombi, is pretty good. Rozum always does well with these done-in-ones and this issue, though it’s part of a bigger story (there’s some subplot brewing going on too), is basically one of those issues.

David and his problems are barely mentioned (everyone has seemingly forgotten the fiancée… it’s amazing what an editor can do).

Rozum makes the other xombi’s story something of an African fable. It doesn’t quite fit the rules he set up last issue in regards to the differences between a zombie and a xombi, but it’s not the undead flesh-eating type so I guess it earns the “x.”

It’s hard to feel much about the issue because of David’s non-role. Not even the Rabbi gets a big part. In fact, some new threat gets a bigger role than either of the regulars.

Those emphases are Rozum’s problem.

CREDITS

Hidden Cities, Part Two: The Serpent’s Tale; writer, John Rozum; artist, J.J. Birch; colorist, Noelle C. Giddings; letterer, Agnes Pinaha; editor, Jaqueline Ching; publisher, Milestone.

Xombi 17 (October 1995)

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After what seems like his editorially mandated guest star issues… Rozum gets Xombi back on track. This issue continues directly from what Rozum promised three issues ago—David gets to find out about the strange world he lives in.

It doesn’t open with him, however. Instead, it opens with the reader finding out David is going to destroy the world. Someday.

When he does show up, his friend the Rabbi takes him on a tour of the supernatural in the city. There’s a lot of creepy, disturbing stuff, but Rozum gets to the point at the very end of the issue. He breaks down the difference between a zombie and a xombi. It’s sixteen issues late, but it’s a welcome acknowledgment before the soft cliffhanger.

Birch is getting sloppy here. David doesn’t look the same from panel to panel, but Birch’s composition is still strong.

It’s decent, but too slight.

CREDITS

Hidden Cities, Part One: Prophecies; writer, John Rozum; artist, J.J. Birch; colorist, Noelle C. Giddings; letterer, Agnes Pinaha; editor, Jaqueline Ching; publisher, Milestone.

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