Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #52
Reviewed by From the Zodar Zone
Words and Art by Jim Balent
Jon is quite obviously Jim Balent's stand-in within the series, from his looks down to sharing a past profession, grave-digging. But because of Jim's sense of humor about himself that means Jon is typically a bumbling, inept, "damsel" in distress that is either getting captured or getting involved in a silly and humiliating side adventure. Except for this time.
This time, Tarot stands naked on the sidelines, stripped of her armor and clothes by Thornwic, a warrior for the realm of magick. She watches as Jon rushes in to save the day. And actually, amazingly, for the first time in over fifty issues, does something well.
While the action occurs Tarot reflects on her history and position in life, and this is where things get hurt. Jim's good with dialog, great, in fact, but the inner narration in the serious issues, of which this is one, is so melodramatically philosophical that it is difficult to take seriously. Neil Gaiman he isn't. But at the end of the day I respect him for what he is trying to do, because I'm glad to see something demonstrating alternative lifestyles, religions, and sexualities as something normal that even a hero can exemplify.
Still, I enjoy the lightheartedly fun issues more.
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Name: Jeremy Wiggins
Been reading comics: for 18 years.
Review Bio: I clearly remember running home from school to plop my butt down three feet from the television to watch the first episode of Transformers back in 1984. Since then they've been the main focus of my nerdom and I continue to collect the comics and figures. I started collecting other comics in 1990 so right off the bat I was there for the big X-plosion (sorry) of X-Force #1 and X-Men #1, the creation of DC's Vertigo imprint, and the birth of Image. Since graduating from OSU in 1999 with an English degree, I've had a couple of different jobs but most have, of course, been in customer service. I'm finally getting to the point in my collecting where I'm moving away from completism (and hoarding things that are no longer good) to following creators that I enjoy.
Favorites: Guardians of the Galaxy (new and old), Weapon X by Barry Windsor-Smith, Fantastic Four, runs by John Byrne, Walt Simonson, and Mark Waid, Thor, runs by Walt Simonson and Dan Jurgens, Small Favors by Colleen Coover, Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston, Owly by Andy Runton, everything by Adam Warren