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Heavy Metal (November 1997)
posted April 27, 2006
It seems to me that the line-up in this issue of Heavy Metal
is at least on par with the magazine I read when I was a kid. In fact, the lead story and cover feature Libratore's Ranxerox character, so it's just about the same damn magazine I read as a kid.
The Ranxerox story in question is humorous and, I suppose, reasonably attractive, but the art looks looser than I remember it being (now that I've said that, I'll find out this is a repeat from the same era I originally read Ranxerox; however, I think the real answer is that the majority of art is done by assistants), and the coloring kind of leaves me cold. Same nasty sense of humor, though. I wonder if the robot's nubile girlfriend has been introduced to our friends in Oklahoma's Christian/police right wing?
The other major stories are forgettable: "Gypsy: Siberian Fires," which is odd in that it features art that seems to be a mix of Japanese and European approaches. The story is pat in the way that makes me suspect this is a long-running, crowd-pleasing feature. Sorel and Mosdi's "The Killer" is like a boring Warren story with more explicit imagery.
Alternative fans may be interested in the minor stories, "Casino" by Pahek, "Mondovision" by Bilal, and "No Man's Land" by Loustal. The Loustal piece in particular is lovely, and its engagement of non-genre and non-fantastic material really stands out. I bet the 14-year-old fans hate this one, though. And the three together isn't enough to justify your purchase.
You know, the big difference between this magazine and the past is quality supporting features: older issues ran reviews that were at least of interest to media-starved pre-teens living in Indiana (trust me on this one), while newer ones had that cute, pure-alternative section with Mark Martin and the gang. Now it's editorials from Kevin Eastman and a poster gallery of women with guns and gigundus breasts. Which I suppose is honest, but makes it an easier choice for the "no" pile.
This review was written in the late 1990s as part of a then-ongoing freelance gig; I apologize if it reads oddly or seems incomplete.