Seraph’s Sanctions: BOOK OF DEATH # 3

Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Robert Gill & Doug Braithwaite
Colors: David Baron & Brian Reber
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Warren Simons
Publisher: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT (September 2015) 


The 411:

Master Darque is manipulating the new Geomancer to do his bidding. Why? Well … we find out the real aim behind Master Darque’s sinister plan. Meanwhile, Gilad figured out how him and Tama are being tracked while they unveil Darque’s play within the pages of the Book of the Geomancer. Unity licks their wounds to get ready for another confrontation. Gilad prepares for the final conflict …
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The Good:

Gill and Braithwaite continue to dazzle, horrify and surprise with their gripping, detailed panel work. They give us vivid, grimy and powerful pictures of the Valiant Universe dealing the turmoil being wrought by Master Darque. The necromancer never looked more frightening then he did in two different panels, one done by each artist. The darkness that is being brought out by Master Darque is reflected by the chilling panels, with horrible creatures and darker shading. Baron and Reber do an excellent job with their colors, bringing out the best of each artist and the mood of the panels. The darker tones help paint the picture of the world we are seeing and the world that may come.

Venditti presents us an issue that moves a bit slower while building to a great climax. Gilad and Tama got some solid development this issue as we see Tama dealing with her wanting to not be there while Gilad begins to understand what he’s putting her through and what he needs to do to stop this threat. Unity is getting ready for their last battle as they enlist the help of Punk Mambo (YES!) in order to use magic in order to stop Tama … when their true target is still captive by Master Darque.  The actual reasons behind Darque’s move with the Geomancer is absolutely brilliant. It is clever in a way that no one wouldn’t have thought of it right away, considering the blood line of the Geomancers. Darque’s own characterization is quite masterful too. It brings him into the modern age a little while retaining his regal-ness. You also feel for David, who is the actual Geomancer of this time period. Venditti makes the read compelling while slowing things down a little after the first two issues, but provides good set up for the finale.

The Bad:

While the issue slowed down a little and was good build up to the finale …the issue’s ending kinda was a little bit of a let down. Not much of one, really. It makes sense, but after everything that happened, Gilad’s vow to stop this made sense but it seemed to miss the “umph” that we had with the first two issues’ ending.

The Verdict:

Book of Death # 3 had a lot to offer as it began to race towards its climax. There was solid character development as the forces of evil and the forces of good amass their forces for a final conflict. Venditti did some solid writing, with a great clincher as to the reasons behind Darque’s attacks and taking of David. We get some wonderful character development and the pacing is ok. Yet, the end of the book fell shot a little bit. Maybe because of the rest of the issue with Gilad facing the undead … it still seemed to be missing some pizazza after the last two issues had him deal with Darque’s forces and Unity. Still, the art was stellar this issue, giving us some grand panel work and solid colors that will grip you. An enjoyable issue over all.