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Kull: The Cat And The Skull #4


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#1 ZackDavisson

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:25 PM

After the disappointment of last issue, I thought that #4 was a slam-bang finish. Well done all around.


ADVANCE REVIEW: Kull: The Cat and the Skull #4
http://www.comicsbul...cat-and-skull-4

#2 johnnypt

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:46 AM

After the disappointment of last issue, I thought that #4 was a slam-bang finish. Well done all around.


ADVANCE REVIEW: Kull: The Cat and the Skull #4
http://www.comicsbul...cat-and-skull-4


Glad to see they stuck more to Howard this time out. They kind of had no choice, they had 40-50% of the story to cover! Will be picking it up tomorrow next week and chime in then.

Edited by johnnypt, 04 January 2012 - 07:25 PM.


#3 Taranaich

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:50 AM

Posted Image

Kull was aware that in a wide space before him, where the buildings swept away on each side, a huge concourse of beings confronted him. He blinked, striving to accustom his eyes to the strange illumination. The beings came closer, and a whisper ran among them like the waving of grass in the night wind. They were light and shadowy, glimmering against the blackness of their city, and their eyes were eery and luminous.

Then the king saw that one of their number stood in front of the rest. This one was much like a man, and his bearded face was high and noble, but a frown hovered over his magnificent brows...

... Yeah.

Edited by Taranaich, 04 January 2012 - 07:51 AM.

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#4 Almuric

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:43 PM

I fear that Dark Horse's Kull has jumped the shark-man.
"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 ZackDavisson

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:44 PM

I think it is actually pretty good. No shark jumping here.

I am willing to give a pass on things like the fish men, because they don't affect the story overall and they look like Deep Ones, which I always sort of secretly thought they should be. Visually, they make a more exciting comic, but the essential parts (what they are saying) is preserved.

#6 Almuric

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:46 PM

But can the series recover from Pictafarians, Igraine, and Happy Kull? I wonder.
"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

#7 ZackDavisson

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:50 PM

One interesting point: I don't know if you read the whole review, but at the end of the issue Dark Horse makes a comment about how it is "up to you if you want to see more Kull comics" meaning that if we don't buy them, they won't make them.

I was a bit put off by that. It is true to some extent, but it is also true that Dark Horse needs to make comics worth buying. I think they are about 2/3rds of the way there with Kull.

#8 terryallenuk

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:58 PM

Yes I would imagine that they can't keep producing them with the poor sales figures both Kull and Solomon Kane are getting.

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#9 johnnypt

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:43 PM

But can the series recover from Pictafarians, Igraine, and Happy Kull? I wonder.



It's like I've mentioned with the movie: it's hard to get where you're going if you start out in the wrong direction. The first issue of Shadow Kingdom started out going the wrong way and every time it tried to correct itself and head the right way, all the wrong stuff kept pulling it off track. The second issue of this mini covered an entire two pages of the original story and half of last issue dealt with all the added plot threads. And I simply will never understand the idea behind doing the Hate Witch mini. That was four issues wasted on NOT doing Robert E. Howard material, on purpose. Could've done Mirrors of Tuzun Thune and tacked on the Exile of Atlantis and Golden Skull parts as well in a three issue mini.

Same thing with Solomon Kane, it should have started with Red Shadows, not with two fragments. If you make adaptations of Howard stories that don't utilize the stories they're supposed to be adapting in favor of some other approach, well lackluster sales are a chance you take. I'll be interested to see how well sales are of Phoenix on the Sword later this month in comparison since the creative has a track record of knowing how to add things to their adaptations.

#10 johnnypt

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:34 AM

OK, picked it up. It's definitely better than last issue, but I have to say as I got to the last page, I was pretty ticked off. I flipped through the second half of the story after the last issue came out, this basically follows it with the expected additional plot points. And Thulsa Doom looks how he should, though it might have been nice not to give it away on there cover.

What ticked me off was the last line, or to be more exact, what it wasn't. It wasn't the last line of the story. That line appears nowhere in the issue. It's one line, so what? It's becoming emblematic of Dark Horse's approach to the material. They left out the line in Skulls In the Stars that contains the title of the story. Here, in the original story, we have Kull making a wry observation about the source of his trouble that shows he's on top of things. In the comic, he's worried about some bit of foreshadowing that we all know happens, but isn't in the Howard stories because it's not clear when that event happens. That's all fine and dandy, but not at the expense of what's in the original story.

I don't know what to think at this point: if it's worth doing more Kull or Solomon Kane or not if they're not going make a more concerted effort to utilize and present the stories rather than using them as dressing to advance some other story they seem to be more interested in telling, but audiences are necessarily interested in buying (Wow! What a run-on sentence that is!)

#11 Officer Aggro

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:39 PM



Ok, yesterday I read the actual The Cat and the Skull story in my Del Rey volume, then read the final issue of this miniseries. I never realized how much extra story was added. The original story wasn't that fabulous to begin with (and I read some of the notes on it in the back of the Del Rey that basically said the same), imo, so I guess I'm feeling pretty neutral about the whole thing. I don't think Dark Horse improved upon it, and Kull's goofy behavior didn't help, but I think there was certainly room to try.

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#12 ZackDavisson

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

I agree that the original story isn't all that great. It actually would be a perfect story to adapt and lengthen with some extra plot. But I don't think they were very successful. The extra stuff just felt ... extra. Like filler. It didn't add anything to the main story, and was just tacked on.

And I don't remember the last line of the story. What was it?

#13 johnnypt

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:50 PM

I agree that the original story isn't all that great. It actually would be a perfect story to adapt and lengthen with some extra plot. But I don't think they were very successful. The extra stuff just felt ... extra. Like filler. It didn't add anything to the main story, and was just tacked on.

And I don't remember the last line of the story. What was it?


Here's the last exchange between Brule & Kull:

"She is not a wizard-beast, Kull," said the Spear-slayer. "She is wise but merely looks her wisdom and does not speak. Yet her eyes fascinate me with their antiquity. A mere cat, just the same."

"Still, Brule," said Kull, admiringly, stroking her silky fur, "still, she is a very ancient cat, very."

I wouldn't have complained too much had they made this exchange between Kull and Igraine, at least it would've been there. They spent the whole last page reiterating what the fish men already told him earlier in the issue. Gerry Conway made some changes in his version, but was able to get the line in there. What makes it even more confusing is the vast majority of this issue sticks to the original story line by line, dialogue and all. Yet they get to the end, they make sure their added story gets a conclusion but the original? "Oh well, ran out of room..."

They have definitely been wanting to build towards something from the first issue of Shadow Kingdom. I'd speculated the whole adding of Igraine and the ideas about marriage was to lay the foundation for when they get to By This Axe I Rule, Kull's action will have that much more meaning...or maybe I've overthought this. Tying Thulsa Doom explicitly to the snake men makes sense, giving him a purpose in the plot. It just needed to be done properly and not distract from the story.

#14 Almuric

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:57 AM

Four issues and they ran out of room for adapting a short story? Something is seriously wrong here.
"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

#15 ZackDavisson

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 07:19 PM

They didn't run out of room. It looks like they purposefully wanted to leave the story hanging, as some sort of lead-in to the next issue. I like the last line in the original, but I think the story was modified too much so it wouldn't really have fit.

I wish this had been a three-issue mini-series that just adapted the story. That would have worked better, I think.

#16 johnnypt

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:29 PM

They didn't run out of room. It looks like they purposefully wanted to leave the story hanging, as some sort of lead-in to the next issue. I like the last line in the original, but I think the story was modified too much so it wouldn't really have fit.

I wish this had been a three-issue mini-series that just adapted the story. That would have worked better, I think.


They definitely left that part of the story hanging since it ostensibly wouldn't be concluded until Atlantis sinks into the sea (I'm guessing that's what they mean by the Cataclysm Prophecy). They could've made it fit fine, but they didn't want to. dealing with their plot took precendence. Three issues definitely would've been better for the story. I just don't get their thinking these days. I sent DH an email since they asked for feedback, and I echoed a lot of the points brought up here. We'll see what happens in the future.

#17 ZackDavisson

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:50 PM

If they have some overarching plot in the planning I could understand it, I suppose. It depends on what future (if any!) stories hold.

It is disapponting because they are coming so close to having a really good series! I love the art. And when they stick to the Howard, the series rocks. I wonder what goes on behind the scenes of these series, how much is the writer's input and how much is the official Dark Horse directive.