Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dawn: Lucifer's Halo

Written & Penciled by: Joseph Michael Linsner
Published by: Sirus Entertainment

I’ve hesitated writing this review because I’ve honestly been at a loss of what exactly I thought about this graphic novel. That’s not to say it’s bad, or that I didn’t like it, it’s just that this is unlike anything I’ve ever read in my life.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic New York where, every Saturday night, hundreds of men gather in Times Square, armed with swords, axes, etc. to kill each other and loot their fallen foes’ corpses. We’re introduced to a fighter named Darrian, who battles with his dead father’s sword—but recently, has been having doubts about himself and his life. Him and his friend Jaynis, take to the battle field and there Darrian is distracted by a beautiful, curvy redhead, whom he seeks out, and spends the night with. A discussion of the notion of Heaven comes up between the two, and Dawn (the redhead) tells him he should go to a towering cathedral which can be seen in the distance. Darrian takes her advice, and goes to the cathedral—but when he gets there, he notices a long line of people waiting to get in. It turns out, that going into the cathedral takes you to Heaven, and Darrian, wanting to go, but not having the patience, decides to find another way in.

Meanwhile, Dawn (the goddess of birth and rebirth) is summoned to heaven by Ahura Mazda (God), who asks her to retrieve the only halo in hell: Lucifer’s. She accepts, and travels to hell to meet with Lucifer. After Dawn reveals the reason why she’s there, Lucifer, in anger, gives up his halo to her, seeing it as God taking away his final gift to him. Dawn, rather than returning it to God, gives it to Darrian, and sends him on a quest to find his place between heaven and hell.

As I stated above, I’ve never read anything like this before. The writing and story are so boldly original I’m almost speechless about it. The character of Dawn herself was nothing like I would have expected a deity to be, personality-wise; she’s very down to earth, and seems like the type of woman you could actually encounter in real life. But saying that, while meant as a compliment to the writer, is almost selling the character short. There’s so much to her, much more than meets the eye. She’s very strong, emotionally powerful, yet almost vulnerable in an unexplainable sense. Joseph Michael Linsner created a beautiful character with Dawn, and her beauty is much more than skin deep.

Darrian is a character who is struggling to find his place and direction in life, spiritually and otherwise. His uncertainty about his present situation, jumping for a quick solution, taking the path towards, and eventually leading into another direction from events that have transpired is something I’m sure most people have gone through, though not on this grand of scale obviously. Linsner is trying to speak directly to the reader and make them think about more than the mere surface of the story they’re reading. Issues of choice, love, direction, life, death, forgiveness, destiny, and moving on are all presented in this story, and they even got me thinking about a number of things.

This brings me to my problem with the story. A large, underlying part of it is dealing with the loss of ones father, whether by death, an unforgivable grudge, or anything, really. The shattered relationship between God & Lucifer (which plays an almost dual role, of a father/son relationship, and as Lucifer puts it, a romantic relationship), Darrian unwilling to give up his sword merely because it belonged to his dead father, to eventually coming to terms with his father’s death. This isn’t something that connected with me, as I’m sure it would with many others, as I’ve never known my father. It’s not something that should have weight on my opinion of the story, but I’m afraid, it does.

The artwork is absolutely stunning; Linsner’s Dawn is by far the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in a comic book. Her fiery red hair, beautiful, curvy body, and realistic, dramatic, emotional facial expressions easily set her far above anything else to grace sequential art pages. But Linsner’s art is not just another “pretty face” though; he can do so much more than just draw beautiful women. Everything in this book is nice to look at, from the (few) epic battle scenes, to grotesque demons, angels, heaven, hell, he does it all fantastically.

Combine beautiful artwork with a unique and unusual story that not many others have the imagination to tell, Dawn: Lucifer’s Halo is a very good read, but one that’s so odd and unexpected that you’ll likely have to make the conscious decision after careful pondering of whether you like it or not. Spending over two days, discussing the story with others and even writing this has made make my choice.

Rating:  ****1/2 out of *****


12 January, 2006 15:59, Blogger Christopher Green said...

No comments? :-/

12 January, 2006 17:50, Blogger zilla said...

my comment was to go out and order this :) i'll let you know when i get it in and have a chance to read it (for sure). great review though uncensored. hey i've always wondered - is that you in your icon?

12 January, 2006 20:26, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Haha, no. My icon is "Olaf", Silent Bob's Russian metalhead cousin from Clerks.

This is me:


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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel