Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alan Moore's The Courtyard

Alan Moore’s The Courtyard by Alan Moore, Antony Johnston and Jacen Burrows. Avatar $7.99. Reviewed by Peter Coleborn.

No doubt about it: Alan Moore was fundamental in the revamping and updating of the comics industry. His importance is highlighted in Garth Ellis’s introduction, and far be it from me to argue against him. Except… I don’t think that Alan Moore’s The Courtyard (that’s the full title of this comic) is all that cutting edge – and we come to expect material at the vanguard of the genre from the wonderful Mr Moore. Don’t get me wrong: this is an enjoyable comic story, nicely embellished with Jacen Burrow’s artwork, which presents the story mainly in portrait-style panels, two per page. And I guess that $7.99 isn’t too bad for 50 or so pages. Anyway, this is a Cthulhu tale (which they spell as ‘Cthulu’ in the introduction), so that should make many of you sit up. It tells of an FBI undercover agent investigating a series of bizarre murders with seemingly no links. But there is one: Club Zothique. The agent discovers a ‘drug’ but in an attempt to obtain it he is exposed and succumbs, with bloody consequences. I thought the story was a bit predictable, but then I’ve read some of this Mythos stuff for decades. I’m sure that younger comics fans will not spot the route so easily.

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