The A1 anthology continues with all three stories raising the stakes. After the vast improvements made in the previous issue, A1 now kicks things up a notch with a much needed boost to the relatively slow moving stories in The Weirding Willows and Odyssey. While this goes on, Carpe Diem continues to be crazy awesome.
The Weirding Willows
In this issue, the story follows up on Mowgli’s capture at the hands of Dr. Moreau and the mysterious Madame Marche. We figure out that Mowgli isn’t the first person to visit Moreau’s dungeon as we are introduced to Kamaria, who appears to have been subjected to some of Moreau’s experiments. As this goes on, Moreau and Jekyll talk about Marche and we are given more insight into their motives. Meanwhile, Alice manages to defuse the situation between the woodland critters and Frankenstein’s monster, and a new character is introduced.
This was a great entry for The Weirding Willows. The plot continues to unfold and with it more about the characters and the world they inhabit are revealed. After the previous issue’s slow burn this one’s faster approach was a welcome change of pace that helped immensely. This was thanks to some very fascinating revelations involving Marche and a relatively light hearted scene between Alice and The Monster. The amusing twist to The Monster’s plot helped as well.
By now it’s painfully obvious how I tend to gush over Carpe Diem. It’s just that damn fun to read! This issue is no different as the team goes up against a video game themed group of criminals. What makes this Carpe Diem interesting is how it integrates the issue of violence in video games to move the plot along. Whether or not it manages to say something significant or not is dependent on the reader, but it still manages to be wildly entertaining.
This entry continued it’s string of hilarious and ultra-violent gags and threw in a ton of video game references. There’s even an entire fight sequence drawn to look like a classic fighting game. Be they from Metal Gear to Mario, video game fans will undoubtedly get a chuckle out of them. For the most part, this entry plays out much like the previous one. Sir Monday gets killed in a hilariously unexpected way, the others do battle with a crazy super-villain, and they eventually save the day. However, it never feels formulaic, or predictable, because predictable isn’t a word in Carpe Diem’s dictionary. Not only that, but unlike previous entries the other members of the team get plenty of time to shine.
The third issue of Odyssey jumps forward a month to follow Blazing Glory as he leads a team of soldiers in Iraq. Their mission: to apprehend Saddam Hussein. However, things aren’t all they seem. For instance, Saddam is in an iron lung, and his guards are there to protect him from being touched by anyone, yet have orders to kill anyone who touch Saddam AND Saddam himself. Glory is forced into an impossible situation with his team fighting the Republican Guard to get to Saddam, with scores of innocent people caught in the crossfire.
Odyssey once again takes a bold step forward with some interesting revelations as well as some pretty solid action. Not only that, but this issue also has some comedic elements with Glory attempting to rappel from a helicopter to a roof but only manages to crash through the roof because of his increased mass. This was a truly significant Odyssey as it provides us with a bona fide super-villain, and did so in a very surprising way. This was by far the best issue of Odyssey so far.
So Why Should You Read This Comic?
The third issue of A1 took things to the next level with Weirding Willows and Odyssey while continuing to provide the same zany action that we’ve come to expect from Carpe Diem. It is, by far, the most thrilling issue yet.
What’s Not To Like?
While most may find Carpe Diem’s established formula to be enjoyable, others may find it a little too formulaic.