COMIC REVIEW: Humanoids' Weapons of the Metabaron Hardcover
Out of print book featuring Travis Charest's artwork impresses...
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Before there was the fan-favorite Heavy Metal Magazine, which began in 1977, there was the French publication Métal Hurlant. First published in 1974 by Les Humanoïdes Associés, the sci-fi and fantasy magazine's success inspired the publisher to continues to bring hard-hitting, gritty, and violent comics to the marketplace. Now, thanks to the publisher's American counterpart, Humanoids, fans of original sci-fi, fantasy, and hardcore comics can pick up a variety of graphic novels.
Humanoids recently released two hardcover graphic novel anthologies featuring a wide variety of sci-fi and fantasy tales which will interest fans of the genres. There's just something special about hardcore sci-fi and fantasy that's unlike any other genre. Be it the unusual characters, the incredible settings, or the amazing stories, sci-fi and fantasy - especially the stuff being published by Humanoids - hold a special place in the hearts of many pop culture fans.
REVIEW: Weapons of the Metabaron
Released in English in March 2011 (it hit Europe in 2008) in an impressive deluxe hardcover, Weapons of the Metabaron explores the ever-expanding Jodorverse brought to life by creator/writer Alexandro Jodorowsky and one of his fan-favorite creations: The Metabaron. While diehard fans no doubt looked to the story as a continuation of their favorite militant space explorer/defender/mercenary, many fans looked to the book for the artwork of Travis Charest, who made a name for himself drawing the fan-favorite title WILDCATS and covers for Star Wars comics. While the combination seemed almost too good to be true for some fans, it understandably was to a certain degree. Unfortunately, Charest's contribution to the 55 page book is only slightly more than half of the artwork. While 29 gorgeous pages by Charest is good, fans looking forward to this book were no doubt let down.
That said, Charest can draw and draw he does. Weapons of the Metabaron features the artist's signature style - impressive layouts with gorgeous designs, impressive and dynamic action - makes for a gorgeous contribution to the Metabarons mythos. At times, Charest's work is realistic to the point of almost photography, with dramatic coloring and impressive shading that gives amazing depth. The artwork here will impress even diehard fans of the original Metabaron artist, Moebius.
For fans who are particularly picky, the change between Charest's artwork and book's other artist, Zoran Janjetov, isn't entirely subtle. While their styles are somewhat similar, Janjetov's style is slightly more cartoony and more reminiscent of Moebius, who fans obviously love. While the art change isn't a major bump in the reading, those looking for a singular, comprehensive read will be a bit disappointed.
As for the story, Weapons of the Metabaron tells the tale of how the warrior acquires an assortment of weapons needed to beat back the alien armies in order to protect the galaxy and continue to grow in his quest to be the greatest warrior possible. Classic Jodorowsky with dramatic storytelling and near impossible odds always being bested by high technology and the terrible wrath of the Metabaron, Weapons of the Metabaron makes for an engaging read overall.
While no doubt die-hard fans picked up this book to add to their collection when it was originally released 15 months ago, those hesitant to buy probably regret that choice now as the book goes for at least double if not triple its original $19.95 cover price. For fans of the Metabaron story and the Jodorverse in general, Weapons of the Metabarons is a must read tale. Not only is it engaging and action-packed, but it also features some of the most impressive art of the series thanks to Charest's work. While maybe not as popular as Moebius or as timely as Gimenez, Charest's work here is still worthy of a note in the annuals of the Metabarons.
Weapons of the Metabaron is out of print and available only on the secondary market at this time.
For more information on this and other Humanoid comics and graphic novels, be sure to check out Humanoids.com.
- Jess C. Horsley