Review : ABC Warriors – The Volgan War vol 3

THE COUNTDOWN TO ZIPPO’S EXECUTION HAS STARTED! Only the ABC Warriors can stop their comrade from being melted down by the ruthless G Men. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Warriors are also set to be betrayed by another member willing to follow Volkhan and his destructive cause. And just who is the mysterious resistance figure known as the ‘Urban Fox’?

Written by 2000 AD creator Pat Mills with stunning digital art by Clint Langley (Sláine, American Reaper) the epic story of the ABC Warriors continues!

Release date: September 16th 2010
Price: £14.99

Wow, this isn’t how the ABC Warriors and Ro-Busters looked when I was a kid!

I’d previously read the second half of this trade collection when it was originally printed in 2000AD and at the time I’ll admit I did have a few problems with it. Yeah, it looked amazing, but I really struggled to keep up with the story and at times it was hard to see what exactly was going on.

Pat Mills’ does seem to go a bit Jeph Loeb when writing for Clint Langley in as much as it’s all a little splash page happy. You could argue he’s coasting, I’d rather think its a clever writer making the most of the artist he has. Yeah, the actual panel count in this book is low and could make for a quick read, but you will spend so much time looking at the detail in the artwork that it more than balances out. When read in 2000AD where you only get 6 pages at a time, double page splashes do grate slightly as it literally takes weeks for the story to go anywhere. In a collection like this though, that doesnt really matter so I was glad to find I enjoyed the actual story a hell of a lot more collected than I did reading it in installments. It actually made some sense this time round! I probably would have been better off had I read volumes 1 and 2 first, but they do a good recap at the beginning of this volume and its easy enough to jump onboard without knowing everything thats come before.

Again though, and this seems wrong when discussing a book by one of comics greatest writers, this collection is all about the artwork really. Every page looks like an amazing album cover or a poster and while some people do criticise Clint Langley’s artwork as being more pin ups than sequential story telling, when its presented in a gorgeous hardback book like this it really is hard to find any fault with it. I particularly loved how it drifted into black and white whenever there were scenes with the Nosferatu like bad guy.

Will I be rushing back to re-read this book? No. Well, not until I get volumes 1 and 2 and do the lot back to back.

Will I be pulling it off the shelf regularly to drool over the artwork? Hell yeah. I’ve already gone back and given it its first “art only” read through. The urge will be to put this on the shelf next to my H.R. Giger book, not up with the Dredd Case Files.

Marks out of 5…

As a graphic novel – 3

As an art book – 5

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