Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

METHOD MAN by Method Man, Sanford Greene, and David Atchison

Hip hop musician Method Man also reputedly has one of the largest comic book collections in existence. He’s been aggressive in his music – performing and producing – and has a career going in movies and television. He’s also decided to expand his horizons by creating a graphic novel called, naturally, Method Man.

Written by David Atchison and illustrated in black and white by Sanford Greene, Method Man focuses on the adventures of Peerless Poe, a private eye specializing in supernatural cases. The premise immediately made me thing of Steve Niles’s Cal MacDonald stories, but Peerless Poe is his own breed of cat.

I don’t know how much Method Man contributed to the comic, but it starts off with a bang. Peerless Poe searches for a monster that killed one of the local kids and the action turns utterly savage within just a few short pages. The introduction to Peerless’s world is an in-your-face blast that gives the artist a chance to show off his skilz.

The graphic novel takes some liberties with the story, like bringing in Peerless’s mentor in the middle of a huge fight that our hero just can’t win, but the book is all in fun. Superhero action arrives and is over the top, but I kept turning pages and settled back to enjoy the read. The villainess of the adventure – Lilith, mother of demons – gets a cameo, a brief intro, and states the goal she’s after: to eliminate the sons of Cain.

See, Peerless is one of the sons of Cain, the original murderer in the Old Testament. In Peerless’s world, the sons of Cain are cursed to take up the lifelong battle against the supernatural forces of darkness. Of course, those forces of darkness also swear eternal vengeance against the sons of Cain.

The story plunges right to the meat of the matter in this struggle, and the backstory comes in a few pages that build the characters of Peerless and his mentor Grand Occisor John Albeit. The dialogue is cutting and quick, but has the instant ring of familiarity. Long-time readers have seen this played out before, but it always works.

After Peerless turns down the offer to help find Lilith’s lair and end the latest threat she’s posing to the world, he of course gears up and decides to do the mission anyway. Of course. The story isn’t deep, but it is satisfying and meet the expectations of character and convention.

Greene’s art is an interesting blend of manga and freehand that manages to work the black and white format for all it’s worth. The panels are large and the action plays huge. He lays out crowded panels showing streets scenes with apparently the same ease he has at delineating the action sequences that focus primarily on the characters.

Method Man doesn’t recreate the graphic novel genre in any way whatsoever, but it shows a definite love and understanding of what comics readers want. With the combination of martial arts and hip hop street roots infusing the hero, this is a book that should interest fans of Method Man’s music as well as traditional comics readers.


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