Ahh, it’s good to be back; feeling refreshed and ready to jump head-first into a big series. Last week (in case anyone noticed) there was no Bin Fodder. This was, partially, by design. With C2E2 so close on the horizon I felt it important to take some time off to get mentally prepared for the monstrosity of human flesh that is a major convention. Thus, I come back to you this fine Wednesday, on the precipice of the Midwest’s largest convention and bring you a first look into the world of Humberto Ramos’s vampiric fantasy tale, Crimson.
This first part will cover a scant portion of the overall series; the first three issues. A small piece but chalk full of story potential, character introduction and teen angst.
As you open the first issue of Crimson you are introduced to a biblical-style re-telling of Genesis with a few slight modifications such as: dragons and the grigori, more on these two later. Mainly staying true to the original tale: Lucifer revolts against God and is dispatched from Heaven to dwell in darkness upon the earth and infect man (or in this case the grigori). God, saddened by the failure of Eden, folds space and crunches it down to that of the Tree of Life surrounded by desert. Only two creatures survived the destruction of Eden: Ekimus and Lisseth (both grigori).
Their role in the future is shrouded in mysterious language but Ekimus is front and center as we are introduced to our protagonist: Alex Elder. As I read these first three issues I tried to deny my knowledge of having read the series years back and in so doing found Augustyn’s writing to be a bit rushed. Ekimus, after “rescuing” Alex from an attack by vampires (rescuing in quotes because he came in after Alex was bitten and nearly killed) he then proceeds to launch, immediately, into diatribes about Alex’s destiny and purpose while bemoaning this “forced” choice to protect and guide the boy.
I have to assume that this will start to make sense as the arc progresses, but this leaves the reader a little distracted from the overall interesting nature of the first issues. To that end, let’s discuss.
The first three issues comprise the first story arc, which sees the creation of Alex as a vampire, the first (and according to Ekimus the last) of a new, more powerful breed of vampire. Alex is able to wield telekinetic powers and firecast (and these are only the powers we see thus far). Alex is “turned” by the vampire gang leader Rose (a large breasted, always topless with black tape X’s covering her nipples woman) while his friends are murdered and eaten by her gang.
There is a somewhat disjointed part of the story where, after Alex is attacked we jump ahead to him waking up surrounded by dead birds. And the assumption is that it’s the next day, or maybe a couple days later. But it turns out it’s been a month. A MONTH? Really? This seems strange and without any caption boxes to A) denote the major time-shift or B) explain it the reader is left confused; unless you really don’t care about details like this.
The culmination of the arc is Alex making peace with what he is, befriending a fellow vampire, seeing a friend from his former life killed, avenging his own misfortune and the introduction of a new character (a red-hooded, crossbow brandishing, chick-with-attitude).
For anyone who has read and books where Humberto Ramos has been the artist I don’t have to sell you on why this is a huge selling point for this or any book. His style is interesting and so very 90s, while mixing Anime with new-wave talent. Sure, his characters may have abnormally large feet, but who really cares? Rob Leifeld can’t even draw feet and look how famous he is!
As with any series I will wait till the end to give any kind of gradation but I will say that despite some story missteps and basic writing issues, Crimson is off to a smashing start and I’m excited to continue to take you on the journey of where this story is going to take us.
If you have suggestions for future Bin Fodder reviews, drop me a line in comments! Or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out this week’s Playlist!
Till next Wednesday…
Nirvanna – Pennyroyal Tea, Bypass Unit – Helium, I fight Dragons – With You, The Rasmus – Everything You Say, A New Found Glory – No News is Good News, Slow Coming Day – Captivated, The Weakerthans – Watermark, Coldplay – Clocks, Del Amitri – Nothing Ever Happens, Daphne Loves Derby – Midnight Highway, Frou Frou – Breathe In, Ben Folds – Narcolepsy, The Junior Varsity – The Sky!, Band of Horses – Is There a Ghost