Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Plentiful Insects

The Beautiful Death #2 (Titan, November 2017, $3.99)
Published under Titan Comics's new Statix Press imprint, this is a European comic translated into English. Mathieu Bablet's story was originally published by Ankama in 2011 in French as La Belle Mort. It would find a comfortable home in Heavy Metal, perhaps, or as a bande dessinee—and it also reads well as a comic book.

Not having read #1, I missed the end of the world, but there are a few survivors: three, and then they find a fourth. Food and resources are scarce, but insects—insectoids, to be specific—are plentiful. And they seem to be attracted to strong human emotion. Bablet has an idiosyncratic drawing style that reminded me a little of a more complicated Scott Morse (Ancient Joe or Volcanic Revolver, perhaps): densely detailed without being overly realistic or sketchy-cartoony.

The detailed cityscapes and urban environs (a la Jeff Zenick) resonate, but it is the color palettes that really sing here. There are two muted palettes at play, changing with the changing light in the day—even keeping pace through Wayne's flashback and violence.

I look forward to more insects, such as the giant insectoid on the cover. But for now, they are small, or a just-off-panel threat, as muted as Bablet's coloring.

Watch Also: Quatermass and the Pit (e.g., Five Million Years to Earth)

Availability: The full story is available in French as La Belle Mort. You can order this issue directly from Titan.

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