Saturday, April 24, 2010
Supernatural 'Beginning's End' Review
Being a monster fan of the Supernatural television series from day one, I decided to give this new prequel series a shot. I believe there have actually been both novelizations and comics prior to this series, I however have not delved further than the show. I was pleasantly surprised by the writing of the comics, the dialogue and story lines of the first four issues fit very much into the style of the series.
The first episode finds John Winchester and his son Dean forcing Sam out of school two days prior to graduation, from high school that is. Of course with Sam being furious, battles ensue between himself and his father. Sam just wants to stop hunting, give it all up for a normal life, as he has been awarded admittance to Stanford, while the only thing on papa Winchesters mind is revenge for the death of his wife. On their quest to find more answers in the mystery surrounding her death, we run into Cox, a leader of misfits cleaning out the demon population of NYC. In the end, they are unable to find the answers they were looking for, leading Sam to again question when this will all be over, knowing it likely never will. Dean, surprisingly, is featured very little in the first couple of comics, they mostly center on the relationship between John and Sam. This to me, was the biggest mistake the comics made. Never being a big Sam fan, I find all the arguments between the two a bit much and slightly grating after four issues. Thankfully Dean is featured more in issues three and four, which I found to be much better.
Issue two of 'Beginning's End' finds Sam angry and broken off from his brother and father. Living on the streets, he meets a woman of similar situations and follows her through the subways to find a somewhat underground city. Many have been struck with a mysterious plague, which makes them go mad before it takes their life. Sam soon realizes not only does the woman's father suffer from the disease, but she does as well. This leads Sam to begin a one man witch hunt into the underground alley ways. Eventually Sam finds the cause of the plague and kills the creature who started it, thus ending the cycle and curing it's victims. This was an improvement over the first issue, as it mostly featured Sam alone, as opposed to the constant bickering between the family.
The use of non-linear story telling can be a tricky thing to master, in issue three of the series, it does a nice job of utilizing this plot device. Honing in a bit more on Dean and Sam's relationship, this feels a lot more like an actual episode of the show. Someone inside a mysterious museum has been killing archeologists by lopping off their heads. Initially Sam sees nothing supernatural about the case, but due to Dean's persistence they stick around for the night. Not long after, Sam finds his self headless, yet still alive. After finding a clue, the brothers locate not only the missing, now headless employees but also the culprit himself. Dean battles the villain and magically re-attaches his brothers head. Again, to me this was probably the best issue thus far, focusing more on the relationship of Dean and Sam as opposed to Sam and John. This issues plot also felt very genuine to the canon of the live-action series.
The fourth episode, which came out this week, is another strong outing for the Supernatural series. The family is now together again, searching for answers to their mothers death. Sam doesn't believe their quest will ever be over, but John promises once the bastard who took away their mother is dead, he'll give it all up and let the boys have a normal life. There are a couple different story lines taking place in this episode. On one hand, we have the return of Cox, who asks Sam to join his band of merry demon killers, while Dean is having a night out with one of his troops. Sam reluctantly decides to lead one of Cox missions, as Dean is off killing vampires and attempting to have sex. This issue ends on a cliff hanger, as Sam arrives to the meeting spot only to find a beaten and bloody Cox, claiming it was he who did it.
Again, never delving into the world of Supernatural via comics, I found this prequel series to be quite refreshing while staying true to the characters and plot lines of the series. I look forward to continuing and hope it keeps the upward trend I saw in issues 3-4. Overall it is a good read for any Supernatural fans.
Issue 1: C+
Issue 2: B-
Issue 3: B
Issue 4: B