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Kade: Sun of Perdition #1
By Al Kratina
October 16, 2006 - 23:05

Arcana Studio
Writer(s): Sean O’Reilly
Penciller(s): Stjepan Sejic, Dheeraj Verma
Cover Artist(s): Stjepan Sejic, Dheeraj Verma

I listen to heavy metal music. And not the kind with the baggy khakis and the backwards baseball caps, that channels the disaffected rage and nihility of the white suburban middle class into ripped off Minor Threat riffs and clumsily rapped vocals. No, I listen to the deranged rantings of Norwegian D&D nerds, all kitted out in bullet belts and spiked armlets, raging to the heavens about Tolkein's Ballad of Tom Bombadil or some such nonsense. I'm used to people talking themselves so seriously that white pancake makeup becomes a statement of satanic misanthropy rather than a way to get laid at a Cher concert. And still, still, I can't believe I'm supposed to take Kade: Sun of Perdition seriously.

Kade: Sun of Perdition is, in essence, a cut plot line from Everquest in comics form, but with more painful Anne Rice gravitas. Sometime during the Final Fantasy-inspired Dark Ages, a man with remarkably fey black metal makeup sells his soul to the devil in exchange for help killing an unjust king. He has a child who grows up into a tall Glenn Danzig with emo tattoos. This is Kade, a brooding fellow all the more sombre because of his WWE wrestler name. Then, in a bizarrely concise montage sequence, he dies, goes to hell, comes back, and somehow gains a female Kade with equally pallid skin and black tribal tattoos. Also, it's now taking place in the present. Then he kills a priest, and some scary stuff happens that appears to be based on early Slayer lyrics. We learn that there is a great evil coming, and only Kade, his sidekick, and probably Buffy Summers can stop it.

Written by Arcana comics editor/owner Sean O'Reilly, Kade is an unpalatable mix of childish goth scribblings and stock fantasy motifs. The art, by Stjepan Sejic and Dheeraj Verma, is exactly the sort of thing you would expect from this sort of thing, all shadowed figures and eyes glowing out of the murk. It's all too slick, glossy, and Photoshopped, making everything look like a screen capture from a video game. This causes the action to seem static instead of investing the images with the fluidity an action/adventure title like this needs. I supposed there's room in the market for this sort of thing, as the occasional burst of Verotik comics would suggest, but I'm not sure who it's supposed to appeal to. D&D fans tend to be a little more literate than this, and fans of comics in general have seen this sort of thing before. Maybe they're counting on the international sales, once it gets translated into Norwegian.

Rating: 3/10

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