Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Comics Review: "FIRE AND ICE VOLUME 1 #2" is a Savage Tale


STORY: Bill Willingham
ART: Leonardo Manco
COLORS: Leonardo Manco
LETTERS: Jeff Eckleberry
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Joseph Michael Linsner
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Leonardo Manco; Gary Frank
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2023)

Rated Teen+

Fire and Ice created by Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta

Chapter II: “The Price of Power”

Fire and Ice is an animated epic, dark fantasy, adventure film directed by Ralph Bakshi.  The film is the result of a collaboration between Bakshi and the legendary fantasy painter, Frank Frazetta, with the film's screenplay being written by veteran comic book writers, Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway.

In 2022, Dynamite Entertainment announced that it had gained the license to produce a comic book series set in the world of Fire and Ice.  The series would act as a prequel to the film.  Fire and Ice the comic book is written by Bill Willingham; drawn and colored by Leonardo Manco; and lettered by Jeff Eckleberry and Taylor Esposito.  War is coming, and it will rage between the realms of Ice and Fire.  Many tribes, cities, and nations will be caught in the middle, some fated to be ground into oblivion because of it.  Who will be the saviors and heroes?

As Fire and Ice Volume 1 #2 (“The Price of Power”) opens, the legendary masked warrior, Darkwolf, battle, Otwa the giant to the death.  What if, however, death is not necessarily easy to come by.

Meanwhile, Juliana, Queen of the Icelands discovers that her precious son, Kaledan, has been assassinated.  She does not know that her younger son, Nekron, murdered his brother in order to be the heir to the throne.  Now, Juliana is launching an all-out war on the Fire Kingdom and its allies, calling forth the Ice Lands' most depraved allies to do her bidding.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Fire and Ice Volume 1 #2,  which is one of the few Frank Frazetta-related comic book I have read in a long time.

I have never seen Fire and Ice, except for a few minutes so long ago that I can't remember that time or what I saw.  I am a fan of the film's director, Ralph Bakshi, especially of his 1977 film, Wizards.  Like a lot of people, I also enjoy looking at Frank Frazetta's paintings.

I thought readers could enjoy Fire and Ice Volume 1 #1 without having seen the movie.  Reading the Wikipedia page on the film and reading Bill Willingham's engaging script was enough to make the first issue a joy to read.  I found myself a little more in the dark while reading this second issue, but I liked the Tolkien meets Frazetta vibe of the story.  So far, each chapter raises the stakes high enough to keep me interested.

Willingham's script works so well because it is in the hands of artist Leonardo Manco, who easily captures the prehistoric and savage splendor of the sword and sorcery genre to which Fire and Ice belongs, in both pencil and color.  This issue Manco captures the intrigue and especially the menagerie of monsters, beasts, and creatures that will serve the Ice Lands.  I found Manco's depiction of Juliana's gathering of invasion forces rather invigorating.  I can't wait for more.

Hey, dear readers, this is really good stuff. I'm an definitely coming back for more, and you should definitely come around at least for the first two issues.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta will want to try the comic book, Fire and Ice Volume 1.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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