Saturday, September 06, 2008
The Hanged Man - From 2001
Adam Cadman is a condemned man on his way to the gallows, long after the death sentence has been abolished on English soil. A cold-hearted man, with seemingly no redeeming qualities or value, fate has decreed that he meet his end dangling from a rope...or has it?
At the end of said rope is not what would be considered Heaven or Hell, but a realm called Mazeworld. Cadman, still donning the hood and noose of the condemned, is mistaken for "The Hooded One," a missing hero of a group of rebels battling a tyrannical ruler. Here, Cadman will undergo a transformation; he will begin this adventure as a coward, and a fool, and emerge a hero of the oppressed. This is the premise of The Hanged Man, a two-issue series by Caliber Comics.
Writer Alan Grant draws the reader in by presenting the possibility that such an ignoble character could be changed for the better. In the story, Cadman is directly confronted with the terrible deeds he has committed, and even experiences a tightening of the noose around his neck when he is caught in betrayal, cowardice, or the like. As a result of his sins being ever before him, a part of Cadman begins to emerge that has long been buried, if it ever existed at all. Grant's fine characterization is to be commended, as is the clever twist at the story's end.
Artist Arthur Ranson's work is amazing! I have never seen better, more detailed line work in any artist's production, in or out of comics. The book is black and white, and Ranson is a craftsman who's work is best viewed as such. Colorists usually tend to take away much of the detail of such a project, even when they are very good.
The Hanged Man can be acquired through comic shops, or from Caliber Comics, by logging on to www.calibercomics.com, clicking "ordering list," and then clicking "H," or calling 1-800-22COMIC.
The Hanged Man, published by Caliber Comics, 32 pages, $2.95.
Review by Mark Allen