|Comics - War Torn #2|
Moments before signing an historic peace treaty between the two worlds, the leaders of both Garangee and Kylei are assassinated, fanning the flames of war. Now, Crichton, Zhaan and Chiana are stranded on Kylei while Aeryn, D'Argo and Rygel are stuck on Garangee. They must avoid the crossfire long enough to find out the truth behind the conflict and unlock the secrets of Tivira. Will they survive long enough to bring peace to these war-torn worlds?
by Dani Moure
If there's one thing I really enjoyed about War Torn #1 it was the story. It had the makings of a fun little romp, and I was really eager to see how things would pan out. Well I have, and I am a little disappointed.
The problem with a two-part comic is telling a decent story in a short amount of space. The story of War Torn is quite a complex one, so this makes things even more difficult. To catch you up on the first volume (so look away if you haven't read it), Crichton and Zhaan are stuck on Kylei, and so is Chiana but she's separated from the other two and running from the Kylei forces. Aeryn and D'Argo meanwhile are over on Garangee, expressing their frustration at the actions of the Kylei to Zhaan and John, who are doing the same back to them, but over the actions of the Garangee. And on top of that Rygel is still playing Dominar taking both sides for a ride by trying to show them both how to win the war. Phew!
Now, with all that going on, it was always going to be something of an uphill struggle to wrap it up. I must say I think they did a great job of ending the story; it was very "Farscape" in that neither side was proven right and there was no happy ending. But what I found so disappointing was how quickly it all happened. Now I know this isn't exactly the fault of the writers – they had to wrap it all up in this issue, but the pacing seemed kind of off, in that it all seemed to end too swiftly and suddenly. Once the crew figure out what's really going on and who is really attacking who, it seems to end so swiftly. So while I liked the outcome, and the story as a whole, it just seemed to end somewhat suddenly, which I found quite the disappointment (although I did sort of expect it).
I went in-depth about my feelings on the artwork in my review of the first issue, and to be honest, my opinion hasn’t much changed. The comic-only characters are drawn consistently and well. Rygel and Pilot came off pretty well. D'Argo was consistently drawn and coloured, and looked good. Zhaan's art I felt took a dip in quality here, with a few more images lacking detail here, although showing how good she was drawn in places, I thought the image of her in the bottom right of the right-centre page was spot on.
As for Chiana, John and Aeryn, well, my opinions certainly haven't changed. In fact, I felt in many places their art took a significant dip in overall quality compared to volume one. In the latter, the art was more inconsistent, here it is more consistent, but more of the poor variety. Of course, this is all subjective, and I'm sure others will be happy with it, but personally I was extremely disappointed with the way these characters came off this issue.
Saying that, I think part of my problem with the artwork is also the inking, as opposed to just the drawing. In many places the outlines look good but the inking, in my eyes, looks questionable. I'm not a professional artist, so I don't have a clue why some of the choices were made, but I do know that I was much more hard-pressed to find images of Chiana, John and Aeryn that I felt reflected their on-screen look particularly well, which left me a little disheartened. And again, the only thing I'm comparing the art to is the way the characters look on screen, not any other style of artwork in other comics. I'm not out on a tirade to bash the art, but it definitely didn't sit well with me.
Once again in the main story, I must also mention how frustrating the dialogue became. For the most part it was good, but those pop culture references reared their heads again, and again I must ask why use them so much? They did seem slightly toned down from the last volume, but I still felt they were over-used, and I found them rather annoying. I wouldn't normally mention something like this, but when it distracts me from the story because the references are getting under my skin, I think there's a problem.
The Chiana story in the back came to a pretty good conclusion. It still felt like it was more back-story though, and so merging it with the "current" timeframe (i.e. Chiana was aboard Moya) seemed somewhat odd. The artwork continues pretty much the same here too, and is far more disappointing than the main story. Once again all the Nebari females look almost exactly the same, so even telling Chiana from the pack is difficult. The show itself has demonstrated that not all Nebari women have the same hairstyle (we've seen three, Chiana included, and their hair is all different), so why do they all look the same here? Again, the story was a little rushed, but as with the main story I won't be too critical of that simply because of the limited space they had.
Volume two continues in the same vein as the first, so if you liked that then you'll like this. The story continues to be by far the comic's biggest selling point, and other than the slightly rushed feel and sometimes ropey dialogue it came off very well. I found the artwork for the series disappointing, so I'd again advise checking it out before you purchase if the art is very important. Personally I love a good story, and if you're interested in a nice side-story with the characters we know, then go for it. But be aware that you mileage may vary.
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Item: Farscape: War Torn #2
Recommended Retail Price: $4.95 (US), $8.25 (CAN), around £3.75 (UK)
Editor: Neal J. Poznea
Letters: Sergio Garcia
Design: David Baron
Pages 1-38 (War Torn Chapter Two: Paradise Lost)
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Pencils: Robert Teranishi
Inks: Keith Aiken with Al Gordon
Colours: Dan Brown
Pages 39-45 (The Fourth Horseman Featuring Chiana, Chapter Two)
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Pencils: Carlos Mota
Inks: Keith Aiken
Colours: Dan Brown
Publisher: Wildstorm Comics
Length: 48 pages