I often run into stories that make me think I wish I’d thought of it. Sometimes these are simple twists or changes to tropes that are stunningly obvious; sometimes they’re clever concepts or conceits. A story like Wayward, which is a great example of traditional myth in modern times, one of those the myths are still true stories like Grimm that’s an automatic like for me. Or stories like Pacific Rim (a great kaiju film) or 30 Days of Night (a neat wrinkle on the vampire genre).
But every so often I come across something special, something unique, that I fall for immediately. A story so bizarrely distinct that there’s no way in hell I could have come up with it, a story whose creators are the only people from whom such an idea could have been birthed.
A story that is impossible for anyone else to have conceived.
The epitome of this is Scott Pilgrim, a videogame manga anime mashup comic masterpiece that could only have come from the mind & experience of Bryan Lee O’Malley. Another is Samurai Jack, only possible through Genndy Tartakovsky. (I hope someday people think the same way of The Rapper’s Foot.)
Murder Falcon is such a creation
Imagine our world, under assault by creatures from another dimension (kinda like Pacific Rim, except with a greater variation in size). Man-made defenses and weapons are ineffective in fighting this evil. The only thing that can defeat them are mystical warriors powered by … HEAVY METAL.
That’s it. That’s the premise and it’s fucking AWESOME.
Daniel Warren Johnson is the writer, artist, and visionary. Mike Spicer handles the colors, and Rus Wooton the letters. Like a band, the sum of the whole is greater than the parts.
There are great bass lines, great drum fills, great guitar riffs, and great vocals. They may be recognizable on their own but they ache for rest of the parts to join them. They get their true power from working together.
(And yes, with possibly the only great heavy metal comic I’ll ever recommend, I’m going to run with the music similes as far as I can.)
Like some of my other reviews, I don’t want to give away too much. But frankly, if you’re not excited about the premise, this probably isn’t a comic for you (but ask yourself WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?)
Like heavy metal, it can be easy to make presumptions about Murder Falcon. Lots of people think metal is loud & dumb – and every single one of them is WRONG.
Is this comic LOUD? Fuck yeah! Is it dumb? Hell no.
Like great music, it’s well – even intricately – crafted. There’s a relatable hero, an every-metalhead for all seasons. There’s a layered narrative that unfolds gently and emotionally. And there’s lots of action and dialogue that’s totally metal.
But we don’t listen to metal strictly for the nuance (though it’s certainly there, despite what naysayers want to believe). We listen because it’s Heavy Fucking Metal.
Murder Falcon delivers the heaviness in spades. We got bone-crunching action, powered by metal! We got the best, most obvious dialogue since Pacific Rim! We got metal poses powering super-dimensional entities!
This comic is heavy metal personified – and that is the highest compliment I can give. Now please excuse me while I go buy the Murder Falcon concert tee…