Review: War Of The Realms #3 – War Scrolls

Can one horrible story experience, in a collection of stories, ruin a whole book?  That is the question I am going to endeavor to answer in this review.  I am trying really hard to be objective right now but I have to say, right up front, that my experience with one of the three tales on offer in War Of The Realms #3 was so egregious that I was visibly angry.  If I had purchased this book I would have been inclined to demand my money back or to rip out the offending pages so as not to stain the professional work done in the previous two stories.  I digress.  Lets just launch into this thing and we’ll deal with the whole sorted mess when we get to it.

The first story in this collection of tales taking place during the Marvel event, War of The Realms, features Daredevil and is entitled ‘The God Without Fear’.  Written by Jason Aaron (Thor, Doctor Strange), this tale is the third chapter in ‘The God Without Fear’ story arc wherein Daredevil takes on the shattered powers of The Bifrost as he battles Malekith.  Beyond the iconography and mythology of the Marvel world, Daredevil has also, always, been about his Catholicism and this story tackles Matt Murdoch’s realization that even an all knowing god must prioritize and so he comes to grip with some of the anger he has had with God’s inability to stop bad things from happening.  The art by Andrea Sorrentino (Green Arrow, Old Man Logan) is professional and well done, although it can be sparse at times.  That said, some of the ink work done on Daredevil’s face in particular is top drawer and brings a level of emotion and depth to the character.  Unfortunately, Mathew Wilson’s (Conan, The Unstoppable Wasp) color fails to complement Sorrentino’s artwork and lacks depth and nuance.  It appears washed out and detracts from her strong pencils and excellent inking; lending a pallid, staid air to much of the proceedings.

By far, the best combined effort of the book is the next story, ‘A Rose For Victor’, featuring Doctor Doom.  A story featuring Doom, Latveria, and the subjects he rules over; this tale focuses on the complex dynamic that exists between those three entities.  Doom, for all his faults and evil, is beloved by the People of Latveria.  Christopher Cantwell puts this on full display as they are in turns fearful and worshipful of him as he can be both savior and executioner.  Cian Tormey delivers some incredible artwork in this vignette story with several panels and cutaways delivering exquisite Doom action as he protects Latveria and it’s people from the advances of the Dark Elves.  The color by Dan Brown ranges from average to very good, with particular attention being paid to those stand out Doom moments.  If I had one critique it would be in the two tone shading technique in some panels that is not blended and gives the appearance of animation quality cell shading.

So that brings us to my bugaboo, the third story ‘The Face of a Warrior’.  Let’s address the writing right off the bat.  I don’t think it’s particularly bad per se.  However, I don’t understand why, why, valuable space in an event book is taken up by what is, in effect, an extended feelz session talking about relationship issues.  I mean WTH?  This is War of the Realms not 90 Day Fiance’ right?  Furthermore, there are several very cringeworthy moments of dialogue throughout the story which literally made me slap my forehead in frustration. That said, the writing was the good part of the story.  The art, oh damn the art, is simply atrocious.  It is unconscionable that this artwork found its way into any professionally done comic book let alone an EVENT book by Marvel Comics, one of the ‘Big Two’ of comics.  The artwork is beyond amateurish bordering on childish and quite frankly I think I, with my shit artistic abilities, could have sat down and drawn this story to a similar level.  There is no anatomy on display, the design work goes beyond unappealing to f’ugly, (you know what I mean) and one panel, that is supposed to display dynamic action, is so damn bad it made me weep in frustration.  I can’t decide if the artist decided to mail this in or what but this is shit of the highest order.  I’ve included the editors in the credits below as they deserve equal blame for the travesty they allowed to be published.  The colorist does the artist no favors, choosing to color this train wreck with simple two tone shading which does nothing but further highlight just how bad the whole effort was.

So, what to score a book that has one average experience, one pretty good experience, and one that will probably scar me for the rest of my life.  I don’t know, you can see what I gave it below but I’m damn glad I didn’t fork over good money to open up the book and see that.  In good conscience I can’t recommend this book because I can’t ask anyone who reads my review to throw away one third of their money.

Overall
[yasr_overall_rating size=”large”]

The God Without Fear
Writing – 4 of 5 Stars
Art – 3.5 of 5 Stars
Color 2.5 of 5 Stars
Overall – 3.5 of 5 Stars

A Rose For Victor
Writing – 4 of 5 Stars
Art – 4.5 of 5 Stars
Color – 3.5 of 5 Stars
Overall – 4.25 of 5 Stars

The Face of A Warrior
Writing – 2.5 of 5 Stars
Art – .5 of 5 Stars
Color – 1.5 of 5 Stars
Overall – 1.5 of 5 Stars

Editor – Wil Moss
Associate Editor – Sarah Brunstead

The God Without Fear
Writing – Jason Aaron
Art – Andrea Sorrentino
Color – Mathew Wilson
Letters – Joe Sabino

A Rose For Victor
Writing – Christopher Cantwell
Art – Cian Tormey
Color – Dan Brown
Letters – Joe Sabino

The Face Of A Warrior
Writing – Charlie Jane Anders
Art – Simone D’Armini
Color – Federico Blee
Letters – Joe Sabino