When DC was announcing all the new books for this month, there was one title that I had to just stare at blankly for a bit: Klarion. Not because of the character mind you (I’m so-so on him personally), but the writer of the book: Ann Nocenti. You know, the woman behind that last run of Catwoman? You all know how well that went. I got a bad feeling about this title, but you know what? Maybe this is where things can change. Maybe this is the title Nocenti needs. Maybe everything will be good now. Is it good?
Klarion #1 (DC Comics)
So… Klarion has decided to leave his dimension and go to New York City. There, he finds a place to live and gets into shenanigans. That’s… pretty much it from what I can tell.
It does look pretty.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure to know where to begin with this comic. It’s… a mess. A beautiful, surreal mess, but a mess nonetheless. The story is rather awkward and hard to follow due to how poorly it flows. It’s not a bad idea in concept admittedly, having Klarion come to this world to try to learn or grow his magic more by meeting some creative and out there magical characters. The problem is that story is not put together well.
The story flows poorly from scene to scene as everything transitions awkwardly and it feels almost random as to where the story will be going next. Seriously, it feels like we are jumping from plot point to plot point without any thought or proper buildup. It honestly left me confused about what was actually happening in the book, since this is not as straightforward as Catwoman was. The dialogue is still as bad as always, sometimes not making sense or leaping from one topic of discussion to another. The ending itself feels like it comes out of nowhere too, poorly transitioned into a scene with the characters going on about a problem that hasn’t been built up or mentioned.
That place looks perfectly inviting.
So, is there any good to be found here? There is… sort of. Since the book is all magic and mystic, Nocenti does do a good job at capturing an otherworldly and strange tone. It definitely feels unusual and unique, especially with the characters she introduces. They all feel unique as well; different in personality and the way they speak. I mean, none of them are particularly interesting at this point or did much, but hey, at least it’s something.
However, forget the about the writing. The true star is Trevor McCarthy and his artwork. It’s utterly beautiful and gorgeous to look at. His layouts are jaw-dropping, the settings and imagery are eye-catching and make you want to look at every little detail, the characters are distinct and creative, and so much more. Simply writing about it doesn’t do the artwork justice in the least bit. I just wish he was on a book where the writing lived up to his artwork.
Is It Good?
Klarion #1 is a mess, something I was sadly expecting and was hoping wouldn’t be true. Nocenti’s writing and storytelling are still rather bad, making this a frustrating read. There are some interesting ideas here and the artwork is a feast for your eyes, but it’s not something I can recommend. I’ll keep an eye on this going forward to see if it gets better, but I’m not sure if it will.