The Damned #9 (April 2018)

The Damned #9

After The Damned reprinted–with color–the original Damned sequel now we’re getting a Damned prequel. Literally, it’s a prequel arc to the original Damned. And the first arc in this series. It seemed like the reprint of the sequel series–Prodigal Sons–was to set up the future, but it turns out it was to set up the past.

And it’s a fine past. I mean, it’s Bunn and Hurtt doing pre-Damned Eddie. He, Morgan, Wyrm, and Sophie (I really wish I remembered more about Wyrm and Sophie) are a thirties heist gang holding up the demons. But only Eddie and Morgan know about the demons. Their mom is still alive (albeit on her deathbed).

It’s a new kind of Eddie (an old kind) and some great back story for the relationship between him and Morgan. It seems world-buildy, something Bunn has always struggled with on The Damned. At least, until he got to this series.

The Hurtt art is gorgeous (and heart-breaking). The plotting’s good. It’s not what I was expecting, but it’s a good Damned comic. The Prodigal Sons reprint had me slightly wary. Not anymore.

CREDITS

Bad Ol’ Days, Chapter 1; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editors, Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

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The Damned #8 (February 2018)

The Damned #8

I’d forgotten how Damned: Prodigal Sons ended. Now it makes sense why it’s included–it was a setup for another series. But it didn’t happen back then.

So in the context of setting up what’s to come in Damned? Sure. It’s a fine arc. Kind of deserved two more issues, as it’s clear Bunn needs the five. I don’t even think the original Damned was five.

There’s some great pacing with Hurtt’s art here. There’s a talking heads action sequence, then a real action sequence. A fight sequence, in fact, with Eddie’s brother kicking demon ass.

Sons works as an arc in an ongoing. It’s still got a lot of problems. But for the finale, the biggest problem is it’s rushed. Bunn needed to spend time with these new characters. A page here or there.

Anyway. Can’t wait for #9 and the return of the new.

CREDITS

Prodigal Sons, Chapter 3; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editors, Randal C. Jarrell and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned #7 (January 2018)

The Damned #7

So, following up on my Damned #6 post. Turns out Prodigal Sons is really just a reprint of the Prodigal Sons limited. It was underwhelming Damned sequel. This time with Bill Crabtree colors.

And, despite the awesome art and colors–Crabtree brings vibrancy to Hurtt’s action–despite those successes, Damned #7 (or Damned: Prodigal Sons Color Edition #2) reminds what’s wrong with the original comic.

It’s way too slight.

There’s a fight, a walking sequence, and a cliffhanger. Nothing else.

Eddie’s brother does the fight. There’s some awesome action, but nothing else. Eddie does the walking. It’s funny–his guide is this (mildly) sarcastic demon–but it’s just a walk. The cliffhanger is slight too.

In some ways, I’m glad. I’ve always thought I was too hard on Prodigal Sons, which kind of ruined The Damned brand back in the day. Hopefully this repeat won’t screw up the book too much. Bunn and Hurtt did magic with the first arc (surpassing the original Damned).

One more colorized rerun to go.

CREDITS

Prodigal Sons, Chapter 2; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editors, Randal C. Jarrell and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 6 (December 2017)

The Damned #6

Not only is Eddie’s baby brother back, this story arc of The Damned has the same title as the lackluster second series–Prodigal Sons.

Except now it’s great. Because Bunn’s learned how to do his exposition. He’s learned how to pace it, he’s learned what Hurtt does best and how to enable the best possible result. Damned has this easy visual flow, even when it’s disturbing subject matter; there’s only so much danger for protagonist Eddie, but there’s always only so much sympathy for him.

Damned is often fairly bright for noir, yet Bunn’s able to keep that distance from Eddie. The reader’s only so invested in Eddie as protagonist. There are a lot of forces moving around him–demons in this issue–who control things far more than he does. Or can even imagine. Eddie’s not a narrator but his unreliability extends to the reader… it’s impossible to get too worked up about him.

That being said, it’s easy to get worked up about the poor saps Eddie brings into his life, like his palooka brother. The brother, a giant boxer longshoreman type, is played sweet and innocent. He can handle himself in a fight against demons, but he’s a nice guy. Nothing like Eddie. So part of Damned is hoping Eddie isn’t screwing over the people you like.

And knowing there’s little chance he isn’t.

It’s such a good book. And Hurtt’s art is spectacular.

CREDITS

Prodigal Sons, Chapter 1; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editors, Charlie Chu and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 5 (October 2017)

The Damned #5

The Damned finishes off its first arc, full of sadness and demons and misery. And beautiful Hurtt art. Achingly beautiful Hurtt art.

It’s a wonderful Eddie issue, following him around, everything else–the flashbacks, the subplots–happening in this completely different world. One with possibility. Eddie’s world, as usual, doesn’t have any. Even when he thinks it does.

Great writing from Bunn, which is particularly nice. As I recall the original Damned limited series didn’t end particularly well; this one’s reassuring. Bunn can close it down now, open a window. Such great dialogue throughout. It’s real good.

CREDITS

Ill-Gotten, Chapter 5; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editors, Charlie Chu and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 4 (September 2017)

The Damned #4

One of the things I always forget about The Damned is just what a shit protagonist Eddie can be. It’s part of the comic’s DNA. Luckily, Bunn hasn’t forgotten. Needless to say, no spoilers, but it’s an excellent issue. There’s an action sequence, there’s a soul-selling flashback, there’s demons, there’s rain–all things Hurtt excels at illustrating. There’s so much weight in every panel. Damned is haunted in the best possible way.

CREDITS

Ill-Gotten, Chapter 4; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 3 (July 2017)

The Damned #3

Eddie takes his friend Pauly around town to talk to people about Pauly’s score and their deal for redemption. There’s some awesome demon stuff, some character development for Eddie, some excellent gangster banter courtesy Bunn, and, of course, the glorious Hurtt artwork. It’s a fine issue–laying hints for what’s to come–and it’s nice to see Bunn and Hurtt have found their Damned tone again.

CREDITS

Ill-Gotten, Chapter 3; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 2 (June 2017)

D2

Bunn and Hurtt open the issue with an atmospheric, ominous ride in the car for Eddie. It turns out to be less immediately dramatic and more about Bunn setting up Damned as an ongoing series. Eddie exists in a world with a lot going on; it’s not all about him. As the issue goes on, maybe there’s a little bit too much world-building and exposition, but it’s for Hurtt art so one can’t complain too much. Bunn’s definitely filling the book with content.

CREDITS

Ill-Gotten, Chapter 2; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 1 (May 2017)

The Damned #1

The Damned is back. Gloriously so. Brian Hurtt art. Gangsters and demons. Who cares if it’s good–it’s good, but when you see a double-page spread of Eddie’s club and it reminds of Casablanca all of a sudden, you know Hurtt’s enough to get it over any of the hurdles. And, really, the only hurdle is Cullen Bunn’s too talky narration. There’s lots and lots of it–which makes sense for the first issue of a relaunch–but it still gets tiring, sensical or not. The plotting’s good, the characters are good, the art’s wonderful. It’s so nice to have Damned back. I didn’t even realize how much I missed it.

CREDITS

Ill-Gotten, Chapter 1; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 22 (May 2012)

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Turns out I was wrong–last issue did end with a soft cliffhanger. Becky and Drake are relatively fine as this issue opens; Bunn does not acknowledge the dialogue-free previous issue either. It’s sort of strange, not to mention it, but the issue works anyway.

Bunn continues showing Drake’s viciousness, which is another interesting move. He’s juxtaposing that viciousness against the real possibility Drake is some kind of magical guy. Like an immortal soul tied to the metal in the guns. And Becky is along for the ride. There’s a great moment of conflict for her, when she internally questions Drake’s behavior. Of course, this internal questioning is just between lines of dialogue and in Hurtt’s art. It’s a great scene.

Neither the reader nor the characters know all the details about the guns, leading to a deferment in moral judgment to characters’ behaviors.

Bunn writes a good comic.

CREDITS

A Town Called Penance, Part Five; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Douglas E Sherwood; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 21 (April 2012)

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Bunn does a dialogue-free issue. It should be called, “One Helluva Rescue,” as Becky saves Drake from his captors and they battle the Order in its stronghold.

But the issue isn’t just free of dialogue, it’s silent. When Becky and Drake communicate, they do it through body language. It’s not like Bunn and Hurtt are inferring they’re talking between panels. It’s just silent and that silence emphasizes the action.

The issue follows Becky until the last couple pages. How she finds the hideout, how she gets down to free Drake. Bunn even sticks with her when Drake takes his revenge–that moment, her waiting–is when it’s clear how far Bunn and Hurtt have taken their characters in Sixth Gun.

The issue also has a hard cliffhanger masquerading as a soft one. The leads are in danger of drowning.

It’s an awesome issue with some gorgeous artwork from Hurtt.

CREDITS

A Town Called Penance, Part Four; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Douglas E Sherwood; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 20 (March 2012)

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Brian Hurtt has a very pleasant style to his artwork. It’s often warm, regardless of content. This issue, however, featuring Drake tortured, it’s not so pleasant. The aged doctor doing the torturing is almost cute in an eccentric mad scientist way, but he’s doing such terrible things. Hurtt’s art style leads to The Sixth Gun being a constant surprise.

Also a constant surprise is how low Bunn is willing to take Drake and still keep him a sympathetic character. Even when he’s being tortured, Bunn manages to reveal something else unpleasant about the character.

Meanwhile, Becky is in the middle of a shootout–which has a couple surprises–and it becomes clear Bunn’s keeping the arc’s supporting cast distant for a reason. While Drake’s scenes are interesting because it’s a lot of information about the backstory, Becky’s half of the issue is pure Western shootout excitement.

It’s an excellent issue.

A 

CREDITS

A Town Called Penance, Part Three; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Douglas E Sherwood; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 19 (February 2012)

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Bunn still doesn’t have much of a story for Drake. He pretty much gets a good meal and then gets in a bunch of trouble. Or he’s about to get in a bunch of trouble. There’s the threat of it….

But Becky does get in a bunch of trouble, a couple times even. Bunn gives her the Yojimbo plot, which is more interesting because of the gender roles. Also because there’s a big secret she discovers and it plays into the plot a little.

Bunn’s really good at toying with reader expectations. There are a couple tense moments in the issue, lead characters in danger, where it seems like it could go either way.

And Hurtt gets some varied action to render. There are only two action scenes but they’re quite different.

There’s still a lack of spark to the new supporting cast members, but Gun’s starting to cook again.

CREDITS

A Town Called Penance, Part Two; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Douglas E Sherwood; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 18 (January 2012)

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It’s a setup issue. Becky is in a desolate, starving town looking for Drake. Drake is meanwhile dealing with his captors. They both make–or think about making (it’s unclear so far)–unexpected deals.

And that recap is about it. Bunn introduces some new characters, but none of them resonate except the ones Becky encounters. They only resonate, however, because their situation is so desperate.

It’s not lazy writing, or even unimaginative… it’s just very workman. Bunn has to get the next arc setup and he does, only without making it compelling on its own. Instead, he lets the series’s momentum carry the issue through.

Sadly, the lack of action gives Hurtt little to do. His art’s excellent as usual, there’s just nothing dynamic going on.

The issue is too passive. Becky and Drake’s respective supporting casts are far more active than the leads. The imbalance makes the issue drag.

CREDITS

A Town Called Penance, Part One; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Douglas E Sherwood; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 17 (November 2011)

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Billjohn’s back. Heck yeah.

I’ve been missing Billjohn and Bunn and Hurtt reveal he’s back in the first couple pages this issue.

This issue finishes the “Bound” arc and shows how complicated Bunn’s plotting is on The Sixth Gun. While nothing big happened–except Drake’s disappearance–the reader learns a great deal about Becky and Gord. Bunn waits until now to reveal another layer to the whole picture as well.

He’s got to have some kind of outline.

There’s more action than in the last couple issues here, with Gord fighting himself (sometimes literally) as he struggles to deal with a devil. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

And then Becky has her big moment, along with a quieter one where she discovers more powers of the Sixth Gun.

This arc gives Bunn and Hurtt a lot more toys and somehow revitalizes the series, even though it didn’t need to be.

It’s excellent.

The Sixth Gun 16 (October 2011)

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I can see now why Bunn put all the action at the beginning of this arc. It’s not about action, it’s about the calm following the action.

For example, the scenes with the most action this issue are Gord’s flashbacks. Except it’s not exciting Western action, it’s the terrible things Gord went through. And it’s all off-panel. Hurtt either shows the lead up or the results. It keeps the issue active, but calm and dreary.

Bunn also comes up with some more great flashback tools. Becky’s father is able to look in on her from the past, which provides some necessary foreshadowing, makes the issue subtly tragic.

The issue, overall, is a complete downer. Gord remembers bad things and Becky discovers bad things (and people). As usual with Sixth Gun, it’s difficult to predict where Bunn is going.

Particularly great Hurtt art at the end closes the issue well.

The Sixth Gun 15 (September 2011)

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Anything after last issue was going to be a letdown and, while this issue isn’t as strong, Bunn and Hurtt are being very deliberate and careful. They’re slowly revealing the past of Gord and Becky. The beauty of The Sixth Gun being a supernatural Western is Bunn doesn’t have to use flashbacks.

Instead, he gets to use ghosts. In Gord’s case, the haunting is a little more literal for the most of the issue. While he’s walking through his past, conjuring up people long gone, Becky is getting acclimated to the weird monks protecting her.

She’s also pining for Drake, who’s missing (but not suspected dead).

The monks live in this huge castle and I really hope Bunn explains a castle in the Old West. I don’t doubt he’d explain it well, I just really want to read it.

Hurtt’s art is calm and quiet, silently majestic.

Gun‘s reliably strong.

The Sixth Gun 13 (July 2011)

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The issue ends with a very peculiar turn of events. So much so the issue feels incomplete, like Bunn forgot to resolve something. He changes up Sixth Gun’s status quo in the second issue of an arc… it just feels funny.

The issue’s pacing is also funny. It’s an all-action issue (but none of those awesome Hurtt double page action spreads), with the protagonists literally putting the brakes on everything at the finish.

The great big mummy (he’s actually not so much big as super tall) proves an interesting foil for the issue, even though he doesn’t have any real dialogue. It’s a strange presence in the already strange situation of zombie cowboys after the protagonist.

Bunn’s got the tone right, Hurtt’s got the art right, but something’s missing. The cliffhanger is too quiet, too soft… the issue really needs some bite.

It’s technically excellent… but, again, something’s missing.

The Sixth Gun 12 (June 2011)

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Is there anything not to love about this comic book? I mean, it ends with this beautifully paced reveal of the big villain–and I quote–a “giant mummy.” In the Old West. It’s just fantastic how Bunn and Hurtt pull off these fantastical reveals and make them work perfectly.

Speaking of Hurtt, this issue features some more of those wonderful Sixth Gun double page action spreads. It’s a great approach to action sequences, though I think Hurtt doing the art makes it work.

Bunn opens the issue–the first of a new arc–with a little recap, something Gun hasn’t had before. He works it nicely into the story, giving the issue a gradual start. Things get disturbing pretty fast, though Gun‘s handling of the supernatural is always somewhat genial.

If the book were too disturbing, it would overshadow the Western feel.

It’s truly an exemplar comic book.

The Sixth Gun 11 (April 2011)

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Bunn has taken the reader’s expectations—or at least, Bunn’s perception of the reader’s expectations—and reversed them. It means he gets to end this issue, and its arc, in an unexpected place. Gord, who’s been sort of a seventh wheel around The Sixth Gun for a while, is apparently bowing out for a bit and Becky and Drake are off to a new adventure.

The issue itself is mostly action, with some surprises as far as plot points and guest stars. It’s all very competent, very genial and very pleasant. Even with all the supernatural stuff.

The last five issues, however, become nothing more than a transitional phase in the series. All the changes and revelations of the arc could be summed up in two paragraphs of dialogue. Hurtt’s artwork makes the series beautiful to read, but there’s not much point to the story itself.

It’s well executed padding.

CREDITS

Crossroads, Part Five; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 10 (March 2011)

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If Bunn feels he needs to redeem Becky in some way, he’s sure taking his time about it.

There’s some awesome looking awful stuff this issue—Hurtt reminds, more than once, of he and Bunn’s previous series, The Damned, with the supernatural elements—but also of important has to be Billjohn. Well, Billjohn the clay golem. He seems to have more to do than just stand around.

About half the issue follows Becky as she wakes up and realizes Kirby isn’t such a good guy… oh, but wait, she can’t raise her hand against him. Bunn has made her a truly boring character this arc and one hopes Drake will somehow liven her up again.

As for Drake, he spends the issue talking again. The talking is interspersed with those supernatural scenes; it’s interesting, but one can’t help feel like Bunn’s putting Drake on the back burner.

Still, it’s good.

CREDITS

Crossroads, Part Four; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 9 (February 2011)

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Ho hum. Bunn does the exact thing I was really hoping he wouldn’t, but he aggravates the situation by accelerating Kirby and Becky’s friendship into a sexual relationship immediately this issue.

Well, not immediately, because Gord and Drake sit around and talk about the six guns possibly being even more trouble than they imagined. Then we get to a post-coital scene with Kirby and Becky… and it occurs to me, thinking about it, Drake hasn’t seen him yet. So maybe there’s a surprise waiting for when Drake does finally see him.

The issue is mostly focused on action. Someone’s after the guns, causes some trouble for the cast. It’s a lot of great Hurtt action art, page after page of it. The art makes up for Bunn’s revelation.

I’m not exactly disappointed—it’s not a bad twist—it’s just a predictable, pointless one. I wanted more from the series.

CREDITS

Crossroads, Part Three; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 8 (January 2011)

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Things are still developing, but while they do, Drake gets into a bit of trouble and we get to see Hurtt do a man versus giant alligator scene. It’s a fantastic few pages from Hurtt, who’s otherwise not doing a lot of action this issue. There’s some talking and some more of those discreet little motions in panels the reader needs to heed… like I said, things are still developing.

Bunn also hasn’t quite given the reader enough information about Kirby yet. I’m hoping he’s not bad, just because it’ll make Becky seem like a fool. Their friendship is one of the other percolating elements, though Drake does find out about him this issue.

I love how Gun is never melodramatic, even with the fine New Orleans setting and so on. Bunn and Hurtt somehow manage to get through the issue without even the hint of a misstep or stumble.

CREDITS

Crossroads, Part Two; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Sixth Gun 7 (December 2010)

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Twice in this issue, Hurtt and Bunn have these little actions—Becky clutching her arm, later going for the gun in her purse—and they’re silent moments in small panels. The reader needs to pay attention to The Sixth Gun, or he or she is going to miss something.

Most of this issue is just prepping for whatever’s coming next. It establishes the new ground situation for the series—Drake is drunk and solitary, Becky is waiting for him to not be either. Then come this issue’s two developments—Drake goes after something he’s had Gord looking into and Becky meets a fella. The fella is a gunfighter, but that occupation doesn’t seem as important as him being a competitor for her affections. Though Drake hasn’t declared himself.

It’s an excellent comic; Bunn and Hurtt are a great team. It’s been a while since I read Gun. I’ve missed it.

CREDITS

Crossroads, Part One; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned: Prodigal Sons 3 (August 2008)

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Bunn and Hurtt finish up The Damned here (for now). Apparently, Prodigal Sons was nothing but a bridging series to the next storyline, where the demons are at war once more. This series, in some ways, serves its goals—it introduces Eddie’s brother, it introduces Eddie’s parents, it explores the underworld.

It’s also a complete and utter waste of time. This issue, in particular, is pointless. It’s action scenes punctuated with hints at some further secret, undoubtedly to be revealed in a subsequent series.

The problem’s Bunn’s handling of such an inconsequential followup. Instead of just doing a nice standalone sequel, he brings in all sorts of contrived elements. I mean, the demon girl is scary—but where’s her mom? Where are the other demon girls? And how interesting is the story behind Morgan’s tattoos?

These questions may go forever unanswered, but Prodigal Sons doesn’t make me care about them.

CREDITS

Writers, Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Hurtt; editor, Randal C. Jarrell; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned: Prodigal Sons 2 (May 2008)

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And here’s where The Damned falls apart. The entire first series, it was implied if not directly stated people knew the demons lived among them. This issue establishes people do not. Only a select few (namely, all the humans in the first series). Why they don’t tell other people? Bunn doesn’t explain.

This issue is full of action. It’s so full of action, it’s the first time I’ve seen Hurtt get a little light on the facial details. The entire issue feels perfunctory, like Bunn and Hurtt agreed to do Prodigal Sons then realized they didn’t want to do it anymore.

What’s so funny about the issue is how little happens. Eddie travels the underworld or wherever while Morgan fights demons. Morgan doesn’t do anything else, doesn’t get a character, he just fights demons.

I remember this series being a real disappointment, but I’d forgotten just how much of one.

CREDITS

Writers, Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Hurtt; editor, Randal C. Jarrell; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned: Prodigal Sons 1 (April 2008)

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I’m not sure when Bunn and Hurtt came up with the idea for Prodigal Sons, but it seems like it was during the last issue of the first Damned series.

Here, Eddie’s not the protagonist. Instead, it’s his brother (Morgan, I think). And we find out Eddie was always cursed, ever since he was a little kid. Sins of the father it turns out.

Bunn’s story explores a little of Eddie’s past, but mostly it’s just one surprise after the other (the demon and Eddie’s father, the demon’s daughter eating a dove, Eddie killing himself, the singer at the club about to touch him). There’s no thought to the pacing.

There’s very little story here. The first series had all sorts of layers. This issue suggests there will be none in the sequel.

Hurtt’s art is still fantastic… even if he isn’t illustrating as engaging of a script this time.

CREDITS

Writers, Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Hurtt; editor, Randal C. Jarrell; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 5 (February 2007)

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Bunn brings Damned to a predictable, yet still unpredictable conclusion. The main story about the mob war ends predictably… but there’s a lot unexpected elements here. One’s a new story thread introduced, another’s a conclusion for a character—both have to do with how little Bunn has actually revealed about his protagonist.

Unfortunately, the ending is a little unfinished. Neither reveal is as effective as it could be. One needs more time, one needs less.

Otherwise, it’s a fantastic issue. Bunn plots it with a nice mix of investigation, action and wrap-up so Hurtt gets to draw a variety of styles. There’s some great demon mobster stuff (they never go crazy with the demon fighting though, which surprised me), but also a fine talking heads conclusion.

One of the best things about The Damned is how Bunn just presents the ground situation, never explains it.

It’s an excellent series.

CREDITS

Writers, Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Hurtt; editor, Randal C. Jarrell; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 4 (January 2007)

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I’m not sure if I just remember the twist in The Damned or if it’s obvious. It’s probably a little of both.

Here, in the fourth issue, Bunn gets around to really establishing the demon mythology (still no word on when they first showed up). Hurtt really shows his range here. He’s got the period architecture, gangsters, street fights between demons… but then he also has this “secret history of demons” stuff to illustrate.

See, as fallen angels left Heaven it was a migration to Hell (this revelation, which maybe doesn’t make much difference, is just a great detail from Bunn) and so Hurtt draws some of it. It’s simply beautiful.

Bunn and Hurtt get a lot done this issue. Hurtt even has two full page panels and they’ve got a lot of story. This issue might be my favorite of the series, just because they do so much stuff.

CREDITS

Writers, Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Hurtt; editor, Randal C. Jarrell; publisher, Oni Press.

The Damned 3 (December 2006)

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I think this issue is Bunn’s first all action issue. I guess it’s not all action, but the second half is a long action sequence (a gunfight) punctuated by a mob shootout. The opening is some more weirdness going on with the demons and Eddie talking to the Worm.

Bunn’s dialogue makes the Worm sequence move fast enough it’s not entirely disgusting–it’s still darn gross though.

Eddie continues his investigation (what’s so great about Damned is how it’s a pre-noir noir) and gets into that gunfight. It’s a beautiful sequence from Hurtt. Eddie’s falling flights of stairs, he’s shooting from cover. Just fantastic design and execution. Still, it’s just a big long action sequence.

There’s some hinting at what’s to come–Bunn introduces some more backstory here (though I don’t think we ever hear about demons first appearing on the mortal plain).

It’s good, but it ends wanting.

CREDITS

Writers, Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn; artist and letterer, Hurtt; editor, Randal C. Jarrell; publisher, Oni Press.

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