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Caliber: First Canon of Justice

By Andy Doan
May 14, 2008 - 05:10

Caliber: First Canon of Justice #1
An Indian mystic searches the dream realm for the face of the man with the power to wield a peace bringing weapon. Living half way between the the world of the white and red man he attempts to settle a land dispute by proving the universality of justice.

Apparently this series is a retelling of the story of King Arthur set in colonial America. I didn't know realize this after my first, second or third reading of the book. It wasn't until I went to the Publishers website in preparation to write this review that discovered the concept. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing really. Until I understood the premise of the story I couldn't really make a lot of sense of what was going on. The story didn't seem intentionally or artistically cryptic. It wasn't heavy with foreshadowing in an attempt to draw readers into issue #2. The main sticking point for me was the concept of the gun itself. It was never really as clear as it should have been. This is one of the rare cases where I would actually welcome a bit of a foreword on the inside cover. Something to stage the the story a bit better then what it was.

Beyond the initial confusion I found the pacing of the story a bit too quick. There was so much happening in such a small frame of time I never really felt that I go my barrings in the world that the author was bringing me into. Without know where the series is headed I don't know how important it was for them to attempt to get so much into the first chapter. I'm left wishing we were either given twice the volume or half the events.

The reason why I wasn't willing to put the book down after the first run through is because of the amazing artwork. There are a couple double page spreads here that are defiantly wall worthy. We are taken through so many beautiful scenes in this book ranging from a blood soaked battle field to a haunting dream realm. Each place in engrossing and completely believable. It was the artwork that let me know that something was happening in this story that I was missing right from the start.

The strange thing about me not understanding the book on the first couple readings is that once I finally got it the story seemed so much better in retrospect. As a stand alone issue I think it fails because of the fact that it relies (at least for me) on outside information to work. What is does succeed at is framing the rest of the story line set to be told in the next four issues. For me I have become way more interested in the series as a whole by glimpsing the potential of the first offering.

Radical Publishing has hit the ground running with both their inaugural series Caliber and Hercules. I'm hoping that they are able to garner the attention that they deserve.

Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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