The Hanged Man |
by Alan Grant, Arthur Ranson (Caliber Comics, 1998)
Adam Cadman is a condemned man on his way to the gallows, long after the death sentence has been abolished on English soil. A cold-hearted man, with seemingly no redeeming qualities or value, fate has decreed that he meet his end dangling from a rope ... or has it?
At the end of said rope is not what would be considered Heaven or Hell, but a realm called Mazeworld. Cadman, still wearing the hood and noose of the condemned, is mistaken for "The Hooded One," a missing hero of a group of rebels battling a tyrannical ruler. Here, Cadman will undergo a transformation; he will begin this adventure as a coward and fool, and emerge a hero of the oppressed. This is the premise of The Hanged Man, a two-issue series by Caliber Comics.
Writer Alan Grant draws the reader in by presenting the possibility that such an ignoble character could be changed for the better. In the story, Cadman is directly confronted with the terrible deeds he has committed, and he even experiences a tightening of the noose around his neck when he is caught in betrayal, cowardice or the like. As a result of his sins being ever before him, a part of Cadman begins to emerge that has long been buried, if it ever existed at all. Grant's fine characterization is to be commended, as is the clever twist at the story's end.
Artist Arthur Ranson's work is amazing! I have never seen better, more realistic and detailed line work in any artist's production, in comics. The book is black and white, and Ranson is a craftsman whose work is best viewed in this venue. Colorists often tend to take away much of the detail of such a project, even when they are very good.
31 October 2009
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