Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Charmed Comic Review: Issue #17 - "Family Shatters"

PLOT SUMMARY

Paige arrives in Salem to find Sarah, but Cole is blocking the door. They argue for a bit, then Paige orbs her way in. Patience/Prue sees her, tells her Sarah isn't there and says Paige has to leave. Paige grabs Prue (I'm just calling her that from now on, for ease of reading) causing a shockwave that sends both of the, flying across the room. The shock also sends Piper and Phoebe's powers out of control, creates an earthquake at the manor and sends the kids powers (even the bound ones) into overdrive. Meanwhile Leo doubles over in pain, then gets dark-orbed out of Magic School.

Cole, Phoebe and Xoop converge on the manor, where Piper is trying to clean up. Cole tries to explain the situation with Paige and Prue, but Phoebe wants to know why Cole is there (and why Piper knew about him and didn't say anything). Back in Salem, Prue and Paige have a TK fight,, with Prue gaining the upper hand. In San Francisco, we see the effects of Piper's "mega-freeze" are spreading, and they're still not interested in listening to Cole. Leo, meanwhile, has been trapped by Rennek, whose powers are increasing. And he needs Leo's help.

Prue tells Paigemwho she is, but Paige doesn't believe her, because she doesn't look like Prue, and she "attacked" Paige. Prue explains the blast want an attack, but their powers affecting each other, and they need to get the manor to see how it's affected Piper and Phoebe. Paige orbs them to the attic, where she sees that the BoS accepts Prue, so she's not as skeptical.piper and Phoebe still don't want to listen to Cole, so they decide to check the book. Paige gets ready to introduce them to the mysterious blonde, but they recognize her right away based on her soule as Prue.

REVIEW

Story

I thought last issue was a bit of a bridge issue, and it's pretty clear that, at least on the Prue side, this is what it was bridging too (we get a couple hints at the fallout from the Leo and Rennek stuff, but for now, things are focused on Prue-ness). I like what this issue accomplishes in terms of storytelling, because it makes the previous issue work better, it works on its own, and it also sets up a number of things to be dealt with in future issues.

Personally, I'm of the mindset that Prue only needed to be brought back if it advanced the story in a meaningful way, and it seems like it's doing that thus far. After defeating Neena (and The Source... Again...), they really needed a different kind of conflict, and this "power" issue that Prue brings really provides that. Plus, the power boost the kids get really only gets a page of attention here, but I have to believe Paul Ruditis didn't just write that page as fanservice; he's got something cooking there.

What this comes don to though is that the reunion between Piper, Phoebe and Prue is just so damn awesome that this issue can't get anything but a 5.

Score: 5 out of 5

Art

This is easily my favorite issue of Dean Kotz's run. The sketchy quality in his art has been toned down in many places, giving way to a smoother look that, while not approaching a Dave Hoover or Tess Fowler, is much easier on the eyes.

He also gets to play with two action-packed two-page spreads. The one with the Prue/Paige shockwave is one of his best pages in the series, but it's topped by his final couple of pages. The likeness work, normally his weakness, on the first reunion page is as food as its been in the series, and the splash page that follows is outstanding.

There are still panels where the "unfinished" look seeps in, but they're much harder to find in this issue.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Cover

Once again only one cover, but this one is a beauty by David Seidman. It may in fact be my favorite cover of his on the series thus far. I love how he makes the images of the three sisters really look like they're on pages in the Book of Shadows, and the detail put into the spells on the pages flying out of the book is incredible. The ones that are readable all appear to be from the show, led by the very first spell from the pilot. It's just one of those covers that Charmed fans are going to adore.

Score: 5 out of 5

Overall

My favorite issue of the series to date. The right mix of story and action, with a great emotional moment at the end.

Score: 5 out of 5






Previous Issue
#16, The Heavens Can Wait
Charmed #17
Family Shatters
Next Issue
#18, Four's Company

1 comment:

  1. Great review, but a little sloppy with the spelling and grammar here and there. The issue was a fun read, and you hit the nail on the head with noting the issue had the right mix of story and action.

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