Centaur Chronicles Renaissance (Volume 1)
Centaur Chronicles: Renaissance (Volume 1)
Better late than never. Here is a chronicle of Volume 1 of Centaur Chronicles, a beautiful project of resurrection of American comic book heroes of the 1930s ! You never heard of Amazing-Man, The Eye, Masked Marvel, Fantom of the Fair, Mighty Man or The Shark ? And yet, these superheroes were created even before the Batman of DC Comics.
Forgotten during the 40’s and unable to compete with the other superheroes created by DC Comics and Marvel, Amazing-Man and his companions are reborn thanks to the efforts of a French team of comic book enthusiasts. Around Jean-Michel Ferragatti (jmf) in the scenario and Marti (Hoplitéa) in the drawing, gravitate many other artists whose objective is to offer a new coherent universe.
How can we reuse heroes lost in the history of American comics? ? Simply because the rights of the Centaur house on the subject fell in the public domain ! A great opportunity to reuse heroes from the Golden Age of comics, with great efforts from a great team behind the brushes and the pencil.
Centaur Chronicles: Renaissance, what’s it worth? ?
First of all, it should be noted that the project of volume 1 is articulated around two sub-projects: restoring original episodes, as well as creating a new story !
Do you have to be an expert in comics ?
I also have to admit that I’m not a big Comics connoisseur, I know some of the great classic sagas (Watchmen, Civil War, House of M, The Killing Joke, Injustice, etc) and the great origin stories (from the Avengers characters to the DC Comics) but I’m not an avid reader. So I review Centaur Chronicles with a quasi-neophyte eye on a period that I only read through the origins of the equivalent heroes of the time.
What counts is the pleasure of reading a good scenario, pleasant drawings and good colors. To go directly to the conclusion, the three points mentioned are clearly successful ! And the approach of alternating old stories of the characters to put some context with the new scenario is an excellent idea.
The reading can sometimes be more difficult than reading a story in one go, but the interest is still greater.
And no need to search everywhere on the internet for the origins of The Amazing-Man. Of course, not everything is revealed in this first volume !
The new story (jmf and Marti)
The new episodes are very nice and easy to read. The drawing is clean and precise, the colors very pleasant and pleasant. With my limited experience on comics, I found this Watchmen-like investigation story to be a nice one (no spoiler).
And the finale clearly makes you want to know more about the sequel.
The characters are well worked. Everyone has the right to their share of problems ! The most difficult thing is sometimes to differentiate each of the heroes when they don’t wear the costume. It must be said that the men are all body-built, with a prominent jaw, and inevitably a pig character. Good thing there’s a tall blond guy 🙂
A good and intriguing story.
The restoration of the old comics (Reed-Man)
There is a lot of work to restore old dusty episodes. The most obvious is the new colorization, sometimes quite flashy, which pays tribute to the 30/40’s era.
I really enjoyed reading in the same book these stories from Bill Everett (Amazing-Man, Namor, Daredevil), Martin Filchock (Mighty Man, The Ermine, The Owl), Paul Gustavson (the Arrow, Fantom of the Fair), Al Plastino (The Rainbow, Supergirl, Brainiac).
Especially since before each restored story, a summary sheet presents the author, the creator, and his background. And it’s extremely interesting to see the tragic or magical fates of these men in this huge period of the comic.
Of course, the style is totally different in these restored episodes that are set in the 40’s and that are impossible to rewrite. It’s a nice way to get to know these heroes rather than trying to start writing an origin story.
And by the way, the sequel to Centaur Chronicles seems to be more interested in those origins !