First of all, good on Paul Cornell to take an internet meme and integrate it into his comic in a way that makes sense. I have to admit, he definitely got some laughs from me. Beyond that though, this book is just so beautiful. First, Bernard Chang's art is just breathtaking. I love the clean pencils and line work in this book, it's incredibly detailed and well drawn. All of the characters look very unique and Chang manages to capture emotion in their faces and body language effortlessly. His lovely pencils are paired with the fine inking and vibrant colors of Marcelo Maiolo.
The story is a little bit complicated, but that just adds to how interesting all of this is. Cornell is crafting a story that will leave you hating Etrigan the Demon, and it's fantastic. Although this is really deep into the story arc I think it's still a good place to jump into the story. You get a great introduction into Jason Blood's love affair with Madam Xanadu as well as a glimpse into Blood's connection to Etrigan. Cornell also presents readers with a fantastic supporting cast featuring characters like Sir Ystin, for example, who is a really fascinating character. This issue is all about characters fighting to outsmart one another. It's a race to see who can be the smartest in a tale completely shrouded in this fantastic mysticism and mythology. Aside from the fact that the premise is great and this issue is gearing up to the clash of three ongoing stories, it's really a well written, well organized comic. Cornell makes sure to put some of the spotlight on each individual character, highlighting their goals while maintaining an even pace that will keep you reading and excited about the story. It's a really well done comic book.
If you haven't been reading there might be some aspects of this issue that will leave you a bit confused. There is a lot going on and writer Paul Cornell doen't exactly hold your hand through the story -- that, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. It might be a bit hard to follow, but that might just add to the suspense.
There is so much I like about this issue. Even though Cornell is throwing a lot at the reader with this story, he's still organizing everything in a way that makes it relatively easy for even a new reader to follow along. The cast of characters are well written and the dialogue is highly entertaining. Pair this solid story with beautiful art by Bernard Chang and you have a winner. The end will leave you with a lot of questions, and you can likely expect a crazy battle in the next issue. If you haven't been reading and you are into books about mythology, heaven, hell and magic, then look no further. This is a great issue that is definitely worth your time and money.