Review: Charmed Season 10 #4

charmed4_250CHARMED SEASON 10 #4

Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Elisa Feliz
Colorist: Valentina Cuomo
Cover: David Seidman

SOLICITATION:

After being hunted by Gaxageal, the only survivor of an ancient race of demons called the Old Ones, the Charmed Ones have again triumphed over evil. However, another threat lurks in the darkness as a low level demon named Valen comes into possession of the Ancient Athame, a powerful weapon with the ability to destroy souls. Meanwhile, Paige takes on a new charge named Aidel who is just beginning to come into his powers.

REVIEW:

My disapproval for Zenescope has been pretty unhidden for some time, even though I’ve tried to give them the professional benefit of the doubt. I saw a preview of this issue and decided that it looked so different from a sterotypical Zenescope book, that I would give it a shot. To be honest, I’m glad I did, even though I’ve never seen a single episode of the TV series.

Charmed4-013The comic reminds me of Buffy, which I assume is not accidental. However, it does hinge more heavily on the magic users side, which I was initially a little disappointed wasn’t being reflected in the story. It’s very heavy on the feelings between characters that are in love, or were in love. That is just in the first half. In the second half we get some magic being used, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite some of the problems in conveying it. Piper’s boyfriend in the refuge isn’t named and when characters go unnamed in a story, it’s a little hard for a new reader. With the culture we have in comics of almost everything being written for collections, it’s hard for a reader to just drop in. Too many times I hear younger readers lament that they can’t start from the beginning. While Pat Shand writes a good comic, he lacks a little in making every character whole.

Elisa Feliz’s art is good, and there’s good distinction between the three sisters, and the likenesses may not be dead on, but they’re consistent. The three major male characters in the book look very similar and get confusing, but that may be due to the fact that they are based on actual actors and the TV series was very consistent in the type of actor that was cast in male roles. I get the sense that Elisa did the best with  what was available, but wish that there could have been more done to differentiate the three characters. The storytelling gets a little stiff at times, but my impression is that she was very faithful to the script, sometimes to the detriment of the page.

Valentina Cuomo’s colors are very nice, although they seem too subtle in the modeling of faces. It appears flat at times, but she does a great job of conveying the tone of a scene, and her work on the skies on pages two and three are exquisite and carry forth the heavenly feel of the refuge Piper has set up for “the kids.”

Again, I’ve never seen an episode of Charmed before, but I did know the basic premise of three magical sisters. The summary page did fine at setting up the main action, but left me confused on the heavenly refuge for the kids. It’s a good comic, but not a great one. Above average, but with books out there blowing it away, it falls a little short, but I wouldn’t judge anyone for liking this book. I can see the appeal. That’s what surprise me so much at this comic being near the the bottom of monthly sales. It doesn’t deserve to be.