Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: Cafu with Roberto De La Torre
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Will the threat of Babel corrupt one of our heroes?
What You Need To Know:
Matt Kindt has put together a fantastic and unusual team, and sent them into a realm known as the Deadside. There, Babel – the sorcerer who mastered the spirits known as Loa and built the Biblical Tower of Babel – is attempting to return to power. If the heroes can’t stop Babel, it will bring catastrophe to all the world.
Our heroes are:
- Tama, a mystical Geomancer with a bond to the world around her. She’s young and innocent, but with a beautiful brightness to her spirit
- Ninjak, Valiant’s greatest warrior, MI-6’s leading assassin-for-hire.
- Punk Mambo, a Voodoo priestess who has joined up because she knows the Deadside.
- Shadowman, a man who was unwillingly bonded with a powerful Lao, and has frequently been vulnerable to manipulation. According to Tama, if he isn’t there, then the team will fail.
- Rex the Razer, a warrior of the Deadside whose band had settled in the ruins of Babel’s Tower.
Shadowman has fallen prey to Babel…
What You’ll Find Out
The story opens with Babel’s words, as he explains his history – or a version of it, anyway, in order to seduce Shadowman to his side. Meanwhile, Tama and the others are attempting to break into the Tower of Babel, but will face terrifying challenges along the way.
What Just Happened?
Rapture #3 has an unusual amount of exposition to it, but the artistic team render it effectively, and its complemented well by letterer Dave Sharpe. He gives Babel a unique, distinctive approach to his words, one that makes him a little hard to understand at times, but that really works well in conveying the uniqueness of the character. After all, in the Biblical narrative, the building of the Tower of Babel was what caused human languages to diverge, so it makes sense for him to be distinctive.
Along the same lines, Kindt’s script gives Babel a very specific power; a remarkable skill at twisting the truth in order to tempt others to his side. Again, it’s very appropriate, and it’s done with tremendous skill.
Separate from the exposition Kindt continues to use the quest as a way of throwing the spotlight on the different characters in the team. He gives us a long, drawn-out battle scene to showcase their different skills and abilities, but it’s hard not to see this bit as filler; necessary to pad the pages out in order to get to the cliffhanger ending.
For all I’m critical here, though, Kindt is a master at playing the characters off against one another. You really get the sense of different heroes, with different approaches – especially in terms of their attitude to life and death. The conflict between the heroes, in terms of how to deal with the problems they face, is well handled.
Final Thoughts: It’s hard not to be impressed by the concepts in play here, even if parts of the issue do feel a little like filler.