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Magdalena Volume 1 Paperback – 9 Jan 2007
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In total, if you're going to pick up one of the Magdalena trades, it might as well be this one. It includes the lackluster Blood Divine as well as several other appearances. The volume 2 material was my personal favorite. Nothing about this volume blew my mind, though I'd say the artwork actually justifies a 4-star rating, while the rest falls a bit short. A good pickup for collectors or fans of this character; might as well have it all in one place.
The story is good. The art is great.
A must read for those that are fans of the Magdalena.
I gave it four stars cause the artwork, which I really enjoyed, and for the fact that some parts of the stories moved well. But...
...really, it's so hard to get past the two weak points: instances of genuinely awful dialogue and the ridiculous, sex-object costume of the Magdalena.
My brain can suspend all sorts of disbelief. :) I have read SF since the seventies, and I can really just swallow all sorts of nonsense in the quest for diversion and escapist fun.
But I could not get past this costume. She's a fricken NUN. A NUN. And she goes from a habit to a Dominatrix get-up posthaste? Puhlease. And the dialogue. Yes, I understand it's an effort at formality. But the stiltedness is just unbearable in places.
However, I'm assuming the audience has been/will be mostly male for this recurring character's adventures (assorted woman, all a Magdalena in each one's turn), so the skimpy outfit must be fodder for their particular fantasies. Does nothing for me or my ovaries. Maybe if they had put Kristof in a superhero-speedo thingie. Okay, maybe not.
Despair not ladies, you do get The Darkness showing up here in one storyline, and he's decidedly macho and hot and the artwork on him is fabulous. Ah, the flowing black hair of the he-man bad boy in all his hellish glory. Works.
Now, the stories in this collection:
First--The Darkness/Spear of Destiny: I really loved the visuals here. The Magdalena does in Hitler and some henchmen and gets back the Spear of Destiny. We fast forward to her in her coffin (we learn of how she died in a story later on in this volume) and get to see another Magdalena be recruited to fight The Darkness. (Oh, we know this won't go well.) The artist did an amazing job with the fight scenes and with the hilarious impy/devilish things that ride along with/are created by Estacado (The Darkness). Except for an unnecessary--and dramatically redundant religious cheap shot in a secondary storyline within a tale already loaded and ready to offend Catholics and various other Christians as is--I was enjoying this. That little extra "jab it to the religious" bit felt totally superfluous and mean.
The Magdalena Vol 1: Another bit of dramatic imbalance here--priests bad, cardinal bad, church bad, people having sex-n-blood orgies... GOOD!--sort of makes one shake one's head. But hey, okay, so the Church is gonna come out bad no matter what here. The Magdalena is more pawn than powerful in this vampire milieu tale, but it's enjoyable, and just makes us feel a bit sorrier for the trusting women on whom this mighty mantle is thrust.
The Magdalena/Angelus: This takes us into female-to-female, daughter-mother conflict territory, and all the main ladies have generous bosoms flattered by a state of underdress. (Another one for the boys.) The Angelus is rather spectacular, with her paganish horns and angelic wings and golden glow. The antithesis to The Darkness. She be cool. The dramatic twist at the end is appropriate--both as a sort of poetic justice and the ultimate apron-string cutting.
The Magdalena Vol 2: This Magdalena is from a Canadian nunnery, ends up in NYC with a homeless pal, and gets a mentor named Kristof, who is a knight in an ancient order. Celtic stuff shows up, even Wicker Men contraptions (okay, that's kinda silly-cool), and an ancient dark God arises (Lovecraftian elements afoot). Does the Magdalena have the faith to defeat the Big Bad?
A movie based on this story of this Magdalena (Patience) is in the works, with Hellboy II's Luke Goss (Prince Nuada) cast as Kristof and Jenna Dewan as Patience. I hope they get someone to seriously tweak the dialogue for the screenplay and add depth to the characters. Also, an upgrade in the costume to sexy and tough rather than streetwalkerish SCA would be nice.
Unless you're sensitive about having the RC Church, priests, cardinals, etc, made fun of and Christianity played with, you might enjoy the outlandish battles and feminine badassness of The Magdalenas. You'll surely get pleasure from some of the visual yumminess.
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