Review: Madefire’s Houses of the Holy # 8

By A Kirana

I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Abernathy, Editorial Director of Madefire, when I had the opportunity to interview him during the 2014 NYCC.  He introduced us to Madefire’s approach to motion comics, and I was excited to peruse some of their titles.
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My first experience with their motion comic, is the beautifully dark, Houses of the Holy #8, written by Mike Carey and drawn by Dave Kendall, and it did not disappoint.  Entitled A Private View and set in 1936, Berlin, we are reminded that monsters, at times, wear a human face.  The monster I refer to is Gottlieb Kunst head of the Nazi party’s Ministry of Propaganda or as he refers to it ‘Public Enlightenment’.  He creates short ‘documentary’ films, using the children of the Roma gypsies who have been rounded up for sterilization.  He films the children in his studio, showing them smiling and laughing while at play, to appease the public, assuring them of the ethical treatment of the Gypsies.  His disdain towards those he perceives as the lesser race is evident when speaking about his ‘work’ to Alfred Hugenberg, whom, upon running into him at a Nazi party event, invited him to see his work.  His ‘masterpiece’ which he willingly shares with Alfred, more to feed his narcissistic nature, is far more nefarious than the films he releases to the public.

Houses of the Holy should be a must read for those who enjoy tales of the macabre.  Every part of the comic, from the music playing eerily in the background to the slight action movements within certain panels, immerses the reader into the story; even the word bubbles that pop up help to give it a more conversational feel.  The rich tapestry of the tale, woven so eloquently is able to convey the horrors of the time without turning the characters into clichéd caricatures.  Being that this was my first experience with Madefire’s motion comic, I was not familiar with the title and was unsure whether I would be able to follow the story, since I was starting with Episode 8.  Instead, what I have read and experienced is more than enough to pique my interest to play catch up with the title as I wait, impatiently, for the next episode.

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk! Marvel Knights and Shout! Factory Continue Their Quest for Animation Domination!

In their quest to release animated versions of every cool Marvel story line Shout! Factory and Marvel Knights bring you Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk!

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Now I remember back in 2006 when this mini series started. I don’t think I caught on at the time that it was being written by Lost co-creator and Producer Damon Lindelof. What I did notice was that it was amazing! We all (comic book peeps) go on and on about who kills, who doesn’t what character has this or that moral set this series pulled no punches. C’mon Hulk ripped his freakin legs off!

 

Needless to say after the first issue I knew I was buying the rest! But then the bane of the comic collector set in, the dreaded delay! Issue three had been scheduled for release in April of 2006 and after no less than eight rescheduling it was announced that issue three was cancelled until the rest of the series was finished. The scripts being finished the assumption is that the delays were at the hands of the artist Leinil Francis Yu but editor in chief (at the time) Joe Quesada remarked that Yu was very excited to get back to the series once he was finished working on “Secret Invasion”. We may never really know all the reasons for the delays but it doesn’t matter, taken as a whole this story was truly well done and one hell of a lot of fun!

But we aren’t talking about the comic are we? This is about the animated feature (motion comic to be exact). We’ve had discussions around the water cooler over at Whatchareading.com regarding whether or not a motion comic is a cartoon or something different. Though most of the contributors over there disagree with me I’ve gone on record more than once that I regard motion comics differently. This one doesn’t change my opinion. To compare the current crop of motion comics to cartoons like Doctor Strange (Marvel 2007), Hellboy Blood & Iron (Starz 2007), or Justice League: The New Frontier (WB) wouldn’t make sense. It’s not a better or worse argument, in my opinion it’s apples and oranges. I don’t compare comic strips to comic books either, the story telling is handled completely differently.

The motion comic stays true to the original (just like the previous release Marvel Knights Inhumans) so each chapter plays out in a flashback, the story told from more than on point of view. It was a rhythm I had to get used to but once I did it flowed nicely. One of the things about this series (and the Ultimate Universe in general) was the subtle, and some not so subtle, differences in the characters. This is the universe that gave us the Nick Fury we now all know and love (though I’ll always have a soft spot for the Steranko era Fury) and an interesting takes on  Betty Ross and Jennifer Walters. An interesting side note to those who haven’t read the series. She-Hulk makes a rather important appearance but not in the way you’d expect!

Once again Marvel Knights and Shout! Factory have given us a well written, beautifully drawn, engaging movie. They just keep getting better.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Pre-order Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk directly from Shout! Factory  for $13.98 or Amazon for $10.96 but order it now, you’ll be glad you did!

Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk
Written by: Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek Into Darkness)
Art by: Leinil Francis Yu (Secret Invasion)
Bonus features: Retrospective Featuring Brand-New Interviews With Damon Lindelof And Leinil Francis Yu
Discs: 1
Format: NTSC
Video region: Region 1
Color: Color
Language: English