By Leroy Douresseaux
October 6, 2009 - 13:33
|Incarnate #2 cover image - art by Jo Chen
Yes, Nick Simmons is the son of rock music legend Gene Simmons of the band KISS, and, yes, Nick is also the star of A&E’s reality television series, “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.” Nick is also the creator of the new comic book miniseries, Incarnate.
Incarnate is an American manga (also known as “global manga”). This dark fantasy revolves around the lithe and sexy Revenant, Mot (who looks like a bishounen or androgynous version of the Death character from DC Comics/Vertigo’s, The Sandman). The Revenants are immortal, ageless creatures of mysterious origins. Humanity has feared, scorned, and even worshipped them since time immemorial, for good reason, as some of them apparently have a taste for human flesh. They are also the target of Sanctum, a secret military organization and cult determined to destroy all Revenants.
As Incarnate #2 begins, Sanctum has captured Mot and his Revenant protégé Connor. They are now held captive on the palatial estate of Sanctum’s leader and are forced to act as the bodyguards of his daughter, Sybil. Mot struggles with his killer instinct and hatred for all humans, as he finds himself bonding with the young woman. Because they protect Sybil from other Revenants, the Revenant council concludes that Mot and Connor have betrayed them and so mark them for elimination. This leads to a death match between Mot and Anubis, Egyptian God of Death.
THE LOWDOWN: There is no fall off from the first issue, and Incarnate remains an engaging comic book with a cast of characters, plot, and backstory that become more captivating with just about every page. Simmons’ live wire drawing style and his dynamic compositions make for the kind of graphic storytelling that will have readers wanting to get into the world of Incarnate. With inking by Matt Dalton, art assists from Nan Kim, Ben Harvey, Shi Hua Wang, and cool colors from Dami Digital, Incarnate’s art seems to fly off the pages with claws extended like one of the Revenants.
Simmons’ dialogue remains a bit iffy and spotty in several places, the kind of awkwardness expected from a novice comic book writer, but the witty and humorous tenor of the dialogue usually hides such imperfections. As the fight scenes turn more vicious and the intrigue grows, Incarnate continues to be an excellent read.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers on the prowl for both manga-inspired comics and urban fantasy will like Incarnate.
Read more of my work at www.negromancer.com