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Azrael Annual #1 : Requiem
Writer : Dennis O'Neil
Penciller : Barry Kitson 1-3, 44

David Ammerman 1-43

Inker : James Pascoe 1-9, 44

Ken Branch 10, 11, 19, 20, 34, 35, 38-42

Marrio Morais 12-18, 21-28

Pam Eklund 24-29, 33

Rob Leigh 30-32, 36, 37, 43

Colourist : Demetrius Bassoukos
Seperations : Digital Hellfire
Letterer : Ken Bruzenak
Assistant Editor : Chuck Kim
Editor : Archie Goodwin

Synopsis :

Jean-Paul's father has a mission to carry out, the exectution of Lehah, but despite his inevitable failure he makes an important discovery, his own humanity.

Review : Perhaps the best thing carried off in this story is that it is just dripping with tragic irony. Surprisingly the ending works, the words caried over wholesale from Sword of Azrael are ambiguous enough that the irony of intention and tragedy of fate carry though. In a lot of ways the setting of this story in the past really allowed Denny to play with the concept of fate and destiny. The tragic irony of Jean-Paul's father was also a wonderful peice of wriing,

      "I have failed, you must not."

Ironic because he apologises for the failures of his life, of his mission and the regrets of his life, while at the same time he predicts the failure of his plan for his son and his intentions. The other major charactor of the piece Patricia Partridge, is also defeated by fate, her own sense of loss ironic, while she found and lost her perfect man, she lost him because he was differant, while she believes the opposite.

The division of art chores is handled as best as can be expected. Barry starting on a new title under dealine pressure and suffering from a pennecillin allergy couldn't be expected to pencil a full double length annual, but usually the fill in artists wind up doing odd pages and the result is patchy. Luckily this story is structured fairly nicely so that those parts told from Jean-Paul's point of view are pencilled by kison while the flashback is drawn by Ammerman. Ammerman is a fairly capable artist but does seem to suffer from a strong influence from the Liefeld school of pencilling. Perhaps most confounding is the bizzare way pages were handed out to inkers almost completely haphazardly, perhaps it as a deadline crunch that caused it.

Rant :

Not a bad story it's amazing how the story tied into Sword of Azrael. without a hitch, well except for one Sword of Azrael established Jean-Paul's father as Jean-Paul Valley this issue established it as Ludovic Valley. It's certainly enjoyable to read, the baseball is a geat touch perfectly illustrating the alienation between these two characters.

I didn't actually have the money for this when it came out so I watched it in the back issue bins while I spent my money on other things, needless to say, I never got around to buying it and now there aren't any in the back issue bins.

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