Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Caliber: Cannon of Justice #1 of 5
Sarkar & Gastonny
An impulse purchase for the ripe price of $1. I had a vague idea that this was an adaptation of the King Arthur legend, which helped my overall interest in the comic. This comic has a lot going for it. I cant say I was totally into this intro issue, but the art really takes center stage.
If you are familiar with the Arthur lore then you know he is an orphan, raised by a foster family until he pulls the sword from the stone. His real father had been a crazy king, who was generally not a nice guy. He has a wizard, Merlin, who looks after him and stirs up his own brand of trouble throughout the tale.
This comic offers a very different look at the story and not just from the obvious fact that it takes place in the old west. One huge difference is that Arthur has parents and they are of good standing. Particularly his father who is a Captain in the army. Perhaps we will learn that these are his foster parents, but for now it looks like Arthur is raised from good stock.
True to the Merlin of old, this new Merlin tries to do some good and ends creating a lot of problems. This Merlin, named Jean Michel, is a Native American who not only plays with magic, but also lives somewhere between his old tribe and the world of the white man. A departure from the old Merlin, this one is a ladies man. He is the one hooking up with the Morgana character.
Jean Michel tries to give Arthur’s father the magic gun. This eventually backfires in a peacefully intended, fact-finding mission turned ambush when the gun appears to blow up almost everyone. Jean Michel fails. There is a survivor from the father’s group though, who brings the new to young Arthur. This sets the wheels in motion for the real “king” to rise.
As mentioned before, the art is the highlight of the issue. Picturesque, clean with dark shading and well placed background images. The art is among the best I’ve seen. However, not knowing the characters very well, it is difficult to keep up with the changing faces. This isn’t a flaw, but just a new comic with new people to get to know.
This comic has potential, but it also presents some problems that may be difficult to overcome.
One of which is the time period. This story takes place in Oregon and based on the treatment of the Indians and the numbers settled there already the time period must be late 19th century. If this is the case, understanding the historical politics could be an outside force that needs to dealt with in this story. It might be minor, but it’s worth mentioning.
Another aspect of this story that presents some level of an obstacle is the roll of Arthur. He is able to bring peace in his country for many years. In this story we know that any peace he brings with the tribe is short lived because how many tribes still had free range at the turn of the 20th century?
One more is Arthur’s overall character. Much of what made Arthur so great was his rise to the top. If someone had handed him Excalibur and told him he was to lead all men from the beginning he wouldn’t have been as great. He came out of nothing and won over many men during his reign.
These types of items don’t make the story less enjoyable, but it leaves the nagging question of where is this all going?
I’m not 100% I will continue to buy this mini series but I will definitely keep my eye on it. I like a good Arthur story and I think this one has a good start.
3 out of 5 geek goggles.