Saturday, July 15, 2017

September Mourning Volume 1 Review

September Mourning Vol 1  from Image and Top Cow -

     No one knows why the Riven, a Reaper of Souls spared the young woman. No one knows why he took her life and gave her his own, making her a living, breathing Reaper. She is September Mourning, a human Reaper, driven to help the souls of the sick, oppressed, abused and lonely who are dying. Sometimes she balances the scales, giving them another shot at life, sometimes she whisks them to a safe place where she can protect them until she figures out their ultimate fate. But September is meddling with the balance of the universe, playing at being the Hand of Fate...And Fate himself doesn't like it. Not one bit. September must fight for her own survival, the survival of the lost souls she protects, and for Claire, her jaded blind companion who has the power to see Reapers. Can September protect the souls in her care and stay alive long enough to find out exactly who and what she is, and why she exists? Or...Will she meet a dark and sinister Fate?

    Created by Mark Silvestri and Emily Lazar, September Mourning is based on the dark culture project of the of the same name. Emily Lazar and Mariah McCourt pen volume 1 in which September's origin story is revealed, and all the chess pieces are put into place for the beginning of her struggle against Fate. September is a tragic character, and moving, as is her ostracized, misunderstood friend, Claire. They share the bond of misfits who belong in neither this world nor The Mortem, the dark other-side of our reality where Fate and his Reapers rule. The theme of victimization runs heavily through this book - victimization of women, and the ultimate victimization of humanity through the authoritarian rule of an arbitrary despot who holds our fates in his hands while we are powerless to shape the trajectory of our own lives. It echoes James O'Barr's Eric Draven when he uttered his famous line in The Crow: "Victims...Aren't we all?" September seems to come to change all that, much like O'Barr's Crow. Lazar and McCourt offer up a worldview that is a little bit goth and a little bit emo. While both September and Claire develop into sympathetic characters, the story does have a few rough edges. Sometimes the dialogue gets hammy, and the book is narrated by Claire in the captions, and she does a lot more telling than showing which makes the story feel rushed. It's hard for a character to unfold if someone's telling you everything about it. All this aside, September Mourning Volume 1 was a curiosity and an interesting read. It's a BIG ball of melodrama, but it has intriguing protagonists and it tells a story of mankind's struggle to write its own destiny, which always gets me. Sumeyye Kesgin's art is dark but playful, a bit cartoony but all business. Kesgin let her imagination run wild here, and she has QUITE the imagination. And she's got quite the work ethic; this book is PACKED with panels! Kesgin let it all hang out, and I like the way she works it - no diggity. This book isn't going to be for everyone, but I have no doubt it'll find an audience in those of us who are just a bit jaded and disaffected at heart.

RATING: 7.75 out of 10.

PS - I mentioned that this comic was based on a dark culture project...Well, here's September Mourning herself in her own music video singing her song, "Eye of the Storm." Enjoy!!

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