Book Review Balor #2

By Pearcy Snyder

  • CATEGORY – Amateur Comic Book
  • Publisher: Superior Comics
  • Writer: Peter Harte
  • Artist: Muir
  • Letterer: Paul; Carroll (?)
  • Colorist: Grace K
  • Editor: ?
  • Page count: 19 story pages

One of the first books I received this year for review and it was 8 months late. While delays are always disappointing the real payoff is when you get a book worth waiting for. Was Balor worth the wait? Let’s discuss.

Story: The story centers around Sean James who’s brother was murdered. He has also found himself the recipient of super natural powers after visiting the shrine of Balor, according to the page one summary.

When the actual issue starts we witness a ‘Mythical’ named Lucia getting interrogated by two agents of SCMP. I assume shes an important character from issue one, but theres not enough exposition there to be certain.

Ultimately – the agents back off a little from Lucia so not to kill her during interrogation, and we learn that they are members of Alpha Team and they’ve been assigned ‘Balor Duty.’

We are then introduced to Sean, who is anxiously trying to learn more about SCMP. Though its not made clear in the issue, I assume SCMP has something to do with the murder of Sean’s brother. Sean has scoured the internet looking for information on SCMP but gets annoyed as the internet appears to believe he’s spouting a conspiracy theory. He also gets annoyed as ‘spam bots’ start posting to his threads.

Sean, using the powers he gained from the Balor Shrine, hits the streets looking for the ‘Don’. I assume he is connected to SCMP, though this not made clear and ends up in a battle with Alpha Team. Sean is more powerful than they can handle, they manage to surround him and insist on his surrender. In his efforts to escape, he falls, although its hard to tell exactly what happened by the artwork, and lands on a pillow he created by using his power in an alley way. His power appears to be similar to the Green Lantern’s powers, manifesting physical ‘power objects’.

From there we are introduced to others from ‘Mary’s’, a public business similar to a restaurant or bar, but again this unclear. Ultimately, they express an interest in training Sean to better use his powers and offer him a new outfit that looks fantastic and has enhancements to assist with Sean’s power.

As the book closes, we see someone, presumably someone from Mary’s, securing a trainer for Sean.

Ease of Reading:

It’s a little hard to come in on issue two without a good summary of issue one. Never the less, there’s plenty of meat on this bone. Harte is building a world and its interesting. The scripting felt a little too stiff at times but the plot comes across as needed. Unfortunately, the lettering makes it really hard to piece together and understand the story line.

Art – While there are several points in which the art shows flashes of brilliance, there was also a lot of art that just didn’t seem to match the story. It struggles to match the intensity of the action as well as the serenity of the quiet moments. While I see lots of potential, its one of the reasons we’ve listed this as a ACB. Although not considered a mainstream comic, its definitely worth checking out!

Lettering: I found the lettering to be a little tough to read. The sizing was inconsistent, balloons are often cramped and forced into the panels, and there are times where the letterer has opted to position balloons on angles. Overall, this was likely my least favorite part of this book.

Colors: The colors are the highlight of this package. Though they aren’t up to the mainstream standards, there’s a lot of great looking color here.

Production: There seems to be some issues with a white border line at the top of some pages.

The over all layout forced the comic to end on the inside back cover. This isn’t a deal breaker but it was unexpected and unusual.

The cover is repeated, albeit darkened, on the back. I would’ve liked to have seen almost anything else there for example, company logo, alternative art, story summary, hype paragraph.

I couldn’t actually find a credit section in the book. There is a reference to Harte, Muir, and Grace K on the cover but there’s no way to know who did what on that alone outside of presumptions. Going through the campaign page on Kickstarter I’ve tried my best to assign the proper credits (someone let me know if they know differently than what we’ve posted).

Final Conclusion: While theres a lot here to work with, I feel like the team has a way to go before they are ready for prime time, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. I feel like this is a project worth watching to see where it goes and how it improves over time. I don’t know if I will be buying issue 3, but I’lll certainly check it out when it launches. If there are improvements to the overall ‘book’ I’ll definitely check them out again.

Final Grade: C-