Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The landscapes of Weirdworld

I'm currently reading Weirdworld, a comic book from Marvel's "Secret Wars" line. Written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Mike Del Mundo, it focuses on Arkon, the barbarian chieftain, who tries to find his way back to his homeland, Polemachus. His adventures are mostly true 80s gritty high-octane smackdowns. Issue #1 opens with him fighting an incomprehensible all-teeth tentacle monster in a river heading towards a waterfall. In the very same issue he battles ogres mid-air over the control of a dragon (the ogres also have heavy artillery support). So there's a lot of action. But we also see how Arkon is just "going through the motions": his hands do the chopping, but all he really thinks about is Polemachus.

The only thing that penetrates his mind is the utter weirdness of the world he was transported into, the surrounding landscape. As Arkon himself admits, he has merely come... enjoy the view,
And holy smoke, are those landscapes magnificent!

Mike Del Mundo's art is amazing. This is the "Skull Mountain is called Skull Mountain because it's a mountain in the shape of a skull" school of fantasy illustration, delivered with outstanding skill and style and creativity. Earl Norem would be proud. Weirdworld is a puzzle, or rather a patchwork of many different worlds: lush jungles, crystal spires growing out of oddly colored sand, rivers of molten lava...

Arkon is trying to make sense of the topography, and his most prized possession is a hand-drawn map -- I bet he will turn this into a wicked hexcrawl when he gets back to his homeworld!

PS.: You know what it all reminds me of?

Samurai Jack. 

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