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Kull Volume 2: The Hate Witch


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#1 DrSolarMOTA

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 02:45 PM

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KULL VOLUME 2: THE
HATE WITCH



Written by David Lapham,
penciled by Gabriel Guzman, inked by Mariano Talbo, colored by Dan Jackson,
cover by Tom Fleming.


David Lapham pits Robert E.
Howard's original barbarian king against a terrifying magical foe from his
doomed homeland of Atlantis. The Hate Witch has waited from the beginning of
time for a great man of uncertain destiny whom she can use to bring about the
destruction of civilization. She believes that King Kull is that man, and has
launched an all-out assault on Valusia, slaughtering its people, in an attempt
to draw him to her seat of power -- the wilds of Atlantis! Kull will have to
return to his savage origins if he wants to hold onto the throne in Valusia, and
save it from civil war!


?Collecting issues #1-#4 of
the miniseries.


104 pages, $15.99, in stores
on July 27.




#2 Taranaich

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 12:36 AM

Man, of all the covers available, they picked the one where Kull stands triumphant over... a couple of dead birds. Truly a heroic image! <_<

I mean, don't get me wrong, there's something quite appealing about the technique and it's well drawn/painted... but ferchrissakes, he looks half-exhausted after being nipped by a flock of ravens. It's just such a silly image.

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#3 amster

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:23 AM

Man, of all the covers available, they picked the one where Kull stands triumphant over... a couple of dead birds. Truly a heroic image! <_<

I mean, don't get me wrong, there's something quite appealing about the technique and it's well drawn/painted... but ferchrissakes, he looks half-exhausted after being nipped by a flock of ravens. It's just such a silly image.


LMFAO! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#4 Almuric

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:13 PM

It's a great Howardian image . . . until you pan down to the dead birdies. :blink:
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#5 Tex

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:52 PM

Don't you guys know what those birds are?

Those are Deadly Ninja Throwing-Birds -- the dreaded chirpiken (literally: "bird in the hand".)

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#6 Taranaich

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:18 PM

Alright folks, I managed to procure a copy of the trade, and Valka, Honen and Hotath if you thought Arvid's take was bad... I'll try and limit myself to the important stuff.

Here's the biggest thing: this story absolutely wrecks "Exile of Atlantis." Characters that appeared in this story are derailed to an almost contemptuous degree. Remember Am-ra, about whom Howard thought enough to write a number of poems featuring him? He appears: he had his eyes plucked out and wanders the lands like Odin, serving first as fodder to fuel Kull's vengeance and then to betray him(!) Remember how REH described Ala as "a young girl"? Well that's not nearly sexy enough, as Ala is presented as a voluptuous, buxom woman who is - naturally - clad in skimpy attire as she's about to be burned, like any good cheesecake.

But worst of all, remember how it's suggested that Kull's tribe was wiped out in a flood? Well, this Heckler - 'scuse me, Heka-la - was directly responsible for it. She caused the flood specifically to destroy the tribe living in Tiger Valley. Not only that, she knew this, and actively taunted and gloated to Kull when she found him as a Mowgli-esque boy. So this story turns into a quest for vengeance against the sorcerer who killed his muddah and faddah, slaughtered his people, and destroyed his home. Bad enough. But then we find out she specifically let Kull live in order for him to become King of Atlantis, setting in motion a "prophecy" about him bringing about the cataclysm. In other words, by destroying his home and people, but consciously sparing him, Heckler essentially made Kull the man he becomes. Does this sound a teensy bit familiar to you?

Now the "minor" stuff. Atlantis looks like Jurassic Park. Not in that it genuinely looks like an untamed, violent, dangerous lost world, but in that it looks like a Hawaiian paradise theme resort: there's even a bit where Kull goes out onto a lovely grassy valley just like that part where Grant & the kids encounter the Gallimimus. And, of course, the Atlanteans are composed of a grand mix of blonds, brunettes and red-heads along with black hair. I can only assume all the non-black-haired Atlanteans died out in the Cataclysm. They're all fairly iron-age looking, which isn't too bad, but they don't look so much like nightmarish barbarians of legend than hardy villagers. Teensy bit familiar.

Remember how there was a big fuss kicked up about the Picts being black? Well, for whatever reason, Kelkor - the Lemurian, i.e. the ancestral race of the Mongols, Tatars, Turks and others - is depicted as a blond, blue-eyed white man. And when we meet another Lemurian later in the comic, he's also blond, blue-eyed and white. I just... I don't... why? Why is it better to have a completely bland, nondescript blond dude instead of, I dunno, a badass Genghis Khan/Tamerlane/Khlit/Taras Bulba type? The thing that astounds me is that some could argue that turning Brule and the Picts black was a PC move, but turning what are supposed to be proto-Asians into blond blue-eyed white dudes is anathema to me. I just cannot fathom this change. It is amazing in its craziness.

The story itself is largely a whole lot of nothing. For a story with such a heady premise - Kull, the exile, returning to Atlantis - very little of consequence actually happens. There's no great upheaval, Kull doesn't philosophize to nearly the degree he should, the side-plot in Valusia goes nowhere. It's really just a big waste of time. There's also one of my bigger pet peeves in the form of clumsy exposition: the number of times I read characters explaining things that other characters already know, sometimes even preceded with "as you know," I was about ready to tear the book to pieces with my teeth. "I was raised in the wild lands of Atlantis" Kull says - to Brule. Kull actually has to tell Brule not to follow him to Atlantis, since the Atlanteans will kill the Pict. I think Brule knows this stuff already.

About the only good thing I can say is that the artwork is really very good - but only in action-packed or dramatic moments. The opening pages are the weakest in the lot, where the tiresome dialogue seems to suck out all the energy in the art. And while I don't think Heckler looks like she's part of the Old Race so much as the Wicked Queen in disguise from Snow White or the heckler from The Princess Bride, her design is very striking. There are a couple of truly fantastic panels in the comic with stark lighting rendering a very Creepy/Eerie-esque feel. And Valusia is rendered very impressively. But the story is just so... argh.

If The Shadow Kingdom didn't already wreck Dark Horse's Thurian Age, this certainly did. This is almost as bad as Thulsa Doom.

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#7 johnnypt

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:14 PM

I really want someone at Dark Horse to explain their reasoning, such as it is, for the very existence of this. I know their track record with fragments is scattered at best, (the Conan ones coming off better than the Solomon Kanes). In this case, instead of taking a fragment and building an original story around it, they do an original story and JAM a fragment into it! The Cat & the Skull was better than this one, to be sure, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement considering how much of a mess that turned into. I guess I should be happy they didn't do Mirrors of Tuzun Thune instead of this, Lord knows how it would've turned out. I think both Kull & Kane are in serious trouble as properties, they've had three minis apiece and to me none have captured either character as well as even the lesser Conan adaptations. They have to get away from trying to create their own stories by picking the Howard material to pieces. They have the template right at their own company with how Tim & Tomas (& editor Phillip Simon) are doing their series. Do more of that, please!

#8 Taranaich

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:14 PM

The Cat & the Skull was better than this one, to be sure, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement considering how much of a mess that turned into.


I haven't read the third issue with the infamous all-singing-all-dancing Kull, but the other three... yeah, right in line with "The Shadow Kingdom." At least Thulsa Doom actually has a skull face and flaming eyes rather than compromising with some "skull mask" horsepuckey.

I guess I should be happy they didn't do Mirrors of Tuzun Thune instead of this, Lord knows how it would've turned out.


I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. Still plenty of Kull stories for the team to mess up. Can't wait to see how they try and shoehorn the Serpent Men into "Riders Beyond the Sunrise."

I think both Kull & Kane are in serious trouble as properties, they've had three minis apiece and to me none have captured either character as well as even the lesser Conan adaptations. They have to get away from trying to create their own stories by picking the Howard material to pieces. They have the template right at their own company with how Tim & Tomas (& editor Phillip Simon) are doing their series. Do more of that, please!


For a long time I felt I'd made my point with "The Shadow Kingdom," but things haven't improved much since then. I'm pretty sure their current approach with Kull is to test its viability as a more He-Man esque, PG-13 property, to tie in with the upcoming film. Why else would they turn the Lake People into fishmen, and have the Serpent Men look like rat-faced Nosferatu, and throw in all these Savage Sword-esque monsters like Etrigor and those monsters in "Cat"? Action figures, baby. I wouldn't be surprised if they brought back Jergal Zadh and Wraarrl at this point, unless Dynamite beat them to the punch.

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#9 amster

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 12:51 AM

Dark Horse Kull and Solomon Kane are dead to me.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#10 Almuric

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 02:09 AM

Dark Horse usually treats Conan respectfully (with some notable exceptions) but when it comes to Kull, they are utterly clueless. I'm surprised they even get his name right. <_<
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard