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Review: Djinn Vol. 13: Kim Nelson

Djinn Vol. 13: Kim Nelson

When a story ends, we rarely ask ourselves why the protagonist started their journey in the first place. Yes, we get caught up in the action, or the series of interactions, which pushes the story forward. Do we ever ask, why did they agree to it? One of those characters is Peter Quill, the de facto leader of the Guardians Of The Galaxy.

I am particularly referring to the movie origin that fans have come to know. The character was taken by space pirates right when his mother is on her death bed. Anytime after his abduction he could have rebelled against Yondu, found ways to escape. But he persevered and adapted and became Star Lord.

In the final volume of Djinn, we find out the circumstances that lead Kim Nelson from India to Africa and back again, back to the cursed child princess of Eschinapur, to fulfill a vow made by the elusive Djinn, Jade. Kim truly comes into her own, assuming her power as a temptress in the name of justice and vengeance… vengeance always cruel, but always sweet…

The volume is full of villainy with double crosses, hidden treasure, death and destiny. Overall, it’s an engaging final volume that more than lives up to the expectations from everything building to this pint. The creative team has put together a grand finale. The story by Jean Dufaux is action packed, emotional, and ultimately, satisfying. The art by Ana Miralles is graceful and luminous. Altogether, it’s a story no reader will ever forget and will want to re-read from the beginning.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Djinn Volume 12

Colonialism is a way for nations, and primarily rulers, ftor make their mark in the world whether or not the residual effects have a horrible impact. Take King Philip of Spain who colonized the Philippines. The influence of the Spanish can still be felt today from the language, which is interspersed with Cattellian Spanish throughout, to the some of the formal wear. In the Spaniards minds, they were bringing civilization to those islands. To many of the natives they brought cruelty and strange customs.

Of course, the Philippine Islands were not the last lands to feel the influence of Spain. They also would take over many nations throughout South America. I always wondered at what point do the colonizers and the natives come into conflict? The twelfth volume of Djinn explores this topic as we find two sides looking to take control with Jade in the middle of it all.

We find Jade and Lord Nelson, struggling to understand what they are, and whether their love is purely lust and nothing more. Menawhile the Djinn’s rival, Arbacane, attempts to thwart Jade’s plans to install Tamila as the next bride of the Maharajah, not knowing Tamila’s bother also has a plan of his own. As the local rebels become more discontent with English presence, an immense fight breaks out, one which will not only change opinions and minds about who gets to live in the land. By book’s end, Jade  leaves for Africa, hoping what she taught Tamila endures in her spirit.

Overall, it’s an exciting in between adventure that more than entertains. The entry also provokes thought about history and free will. The story by Jean Dufaux is enigmatic and action packed. The art by Ana Miralles is gorgeous. Altogether, it’s a story that is probably one of the best told from this epic sprawling series.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Djinn Vol. 11: An Eternal Youth

One of the best shows to be on television in the last ten years, was the remarkable Tyrant. The show was on FX and lasted only three seasons and produced by the same people who made 24 and Homeland. The show revolved around the son of a dictator who comes back from America. He must deal with his past and his identity as part of the royal family the rulers of an imaginary nation in the UAE that have been considered tyrants. What the creators sought to do with the show was to see the world through the eyes of people we would only know of in the news. They successfully made us both hate and empathize with them with equal passion. We saw that even with what they have, they were just human.

The show featured many interesting plots which questioned familial bonds, the role of government, what makes a monarchy, and what happens to a love unrequited. One of the more intriguing storylines was that of Nusraat Al Fayeed as she was married to the sitting dictator’s son. She was one of the more complex characters within the show as her family stood against the monarchy. Tension between polar opposites usually makes for a good story but when its high stakes like this show was, it makes more even greater drama. In the 11th volume of Djinn, one such dilemma is thrust upon Jade, one that she doesn’t shy away from.

We find Jade as she is instructing Tamila, on the ways to love a man, a man she is reluctant to fall for, seeing that her family is wary of English settlers in India. Meanwhile, Tamila’s father, Raja Singh continues his assault on the British forces which have settled in country, making the tension between the English and the Indian peoples even more voracious. Eventually Jade becomes more intimate with what is really going in India, and how Tamila is at the center of all the chaos. By book’s end, one of Jade’s enemies begins a scheme which looks to overtake Jade and her powers as a Djinn.

Overall, an excellent comic which combines scintillating escapades with political intrigue. The story by Jean Dufaux is sexy, smart and a pot boiler. The art by Ana Miralles is both lifelike and elegant. Altogether, this book shows Dufaux and Miralles at the top of their game as the character of Jade is elevated in this book.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Djinn Volume 10

Films that I watched that capture my attention from start to finish usually become a part of my film collection. The movies I have collected range in genre, years, and run time. I have collected each movie based on my ability to re-watch them and not so much on how critically acclaimed it was when it came out. Some movies resonated with me because it reflected a piece of who I am, like a Bronx Tale.

Then there are movies which for some interesting reasons we are just drawn to. This is what happened when I watched Kama Sutra, A Love Story.  The movie was more than love story, it was a political thriller, all set in India, made by an Indian filmmaker and a completely Indian cast.  My main thought then was why there aren’t more stories like this? In the 10th volume of Djinn, we find our protagonist on their way to India to teach a prospective bride on the ways of lovemaking before her nuptials.

We find Jade in the court of a mighty Sultan, as she consults with his wife about their daughter, as the influence of the English rulers weigh heavily on his kingdom. We also meet Tamila, his daughter, who is being courted by the Maharajah, and the daughter of the rebels seeking refuge. As Tamila begins her education, she learns more than she ever expected as Jade enlightens her on how to hold a man’s attention. Also, the Nelsons learn that the Rani, the Maharajah’s mother is hiding a family cure from everyone including her son. By book’s end, an uneasy alliance is settled on by the Maharajah and the English.

Overall, it’s an excellent installment that revives the series in a new setting, India. The story by Jean Dufaux is complex, smart and thrilling. The art by Ana Miralles is gorgeous. Altogether, another volume which proves that Dufaux and Miralles are master storytellers.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Djinn Volume 9 The Gorilla King

People often speak about what is done for the greater good, as what guides one ‘s moral ultimately leads people to do these things for “the greater good”. This epitaph is usually espoused by politicians and military leaders to inspire their constituents and their troops. As leaders on both sides of a conflict usually lead by fear or by inspiration.  The ones who motivate their people, often tell themselves if they dictate something inspiring, their people should follow naturally.

As with all leaders, most often people will only follow those without question, those leaders who show they can stand by their people, even in the battlefield. One of the most memorable leaders in fiction that can be remembered by most pop culture fans, is Daenerys Targaryen of Game Of Thrones lore. As her character has inspired her people and everyone who comes in contract with her, falls in love with her unconsciously. In the ninth volume of Djinn, and the last book in the Africa saga, Jade fulfill her destiny and unite the tribes.

In a rare moment for fans of the book, Kim finally sees a vision of Jade as she walks alone in the savannah, something that be attributed to their connection as both being Djinn and their familial bonds. We find Jade in negotiations with the military, as they try to implore her to end the revolt, but she remains un-wavered. She soon moves her people in search of the Gorilla King, an arduous journey in which her purpose becomes emboldened, as she accepts his hand in marriage and becomes the Queen of Africa and immortal in the same breath. By book’s end, because of the Black Pearl, betrayals around Kim spring abound, but those loyal to her ensure her survival and triumph.

Overall, a satisfying end to a powerful story which shows that Jean Dufaux and Ana Miralles have created something enduring. The story by Dufaux is smart, engaging, and exciting. The art by Miralles is elegant and luminous. Altogether, a great story that only gets better with this volume.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Djinn Vol. 8 Fever

I remember the first time I saw Ghostbusters, it was on television. Me and my cousins watched it for the first time on our grandparent’s subscription to HBO where the first scene I saw was the guys catching the ghost in the New York Public Library. This said to me, right then, that this was not going to be some mystery movie like Scooby Doo. These ghosts were very much real. Instantly the movie became our favorite film at that time. We became enamored with the characters and the world. It took place in the very same city we grew up in.

One of the pivotal scenes in the movie is when Sigourney Weaver’s character gets possessed by a powerful demon that would bring apocalypse to New York. The idea that your body is no longer yours and another conscience has entered your body has always been a riveting concept. In the eighth book of Djinn, we find Jade still possessed and a major upheaval may be on its way.

We catch up with Kim, as she starts her quest for the Black Pearl that Jade left, all those years ago, hoping it would gives her clues to who Jade really was. As she starts roaming the jungle, she feels her connection to the place through Jade’s memories, where King Kaui Mobo, is about to meet Anaktu who still possesses Jade’s body. We also catch up with Charles Augery, as he finds his way back to the British camp, where he tries convincing the authorities of what is going on with Jade and the uprising come their way. Eventually Anaktu unleashes carnage on Mobo’s people and eventually killing the King himself. At the very same time, Ebony’s brother frees them both, but Charles meets his fate by a stray bullet meant for Ebony. By book’s end, Kim finally finds out the what happened to Jade and the Black Pearl, as it is all connected to her being a Djinn.

Djinn Vol. 8 Fever is an enthralling chapter that gives readers more about Kim and shows us just how powerful Anaktu was. The story by Jean Dufaux is enigmatic, smart, and exciting. The art by Ana Miralles is elegant and vivid. Altogether, it’s an entertaining installment in this highly underrated series.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Djinn Vol. 7 Pipiktu

Nicole Kidman is an actress who has proved her mettle as a thespian and turned in some excellent roles including the character of Anna in the movie Birth. The movie centers on a woman who loses her husband and after some time moves on with life eventually getting engaged to be married. She gets a surprise, as a ten-year-old boy professes to be the reincarnation of her husband. It’s a lot like the Eidolons in Ancient Greece, where the dead spirits inhabits those who are living. The power of belief is at play here to the point where there is not merely faith but complete trust in what one cannot prove.

In the seventh volume of Djinn, Jade gets overtaken by one spirit, a powerful African goddess.

When someone from the search party looking for Lord Nelseon and Jade gets kidnapped, he finds Jade in an unexpected place. She’s at the head of the Orushi Tribe possessed by the goddess, Anaktu. The Afrikan nation that the Nelsons and Jade lead are in the midst of a big change as the people and the tribes are looking to take back their land and rid of foreign invaders. Meanwhile Lady Nelson consults in a local priest while finding about herself that she loves her husband… and she is obsessed with Jade. Lord Nelson on the other hand is a prisoner of the tribe Jade now commands as she has become totally possessed as the witch doctor makes her drink a potion which makes her forget every human she had. Eventually, Lord Nelson finds out a way to escape and rushes to find Jade is gone and Anaktu has sole control of her body.

Overall, an the seventh volume is an interesting installment of this ever-evolving series which takes familiar tropes and gives them a fresh coat of paint. The story by Jean Dufaux feels like one of those old swashbuckler adventures. The art by Ana Miralles is beautiful. Altogether, this comic series just gets better each installment.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Djinn Volume 6 The Black Pearl

The firestorm that Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code caused when it came out is an example of a book causing controversy which swirled in conversations for quite some time. The book’s connections to history, religion, and unsolved mysteries became a touchstone for many creators as it reignited stories which treated their readers intelligently. It also brought on its fair share of poor imitators, as one can look at the extremely poor adaptation of Clive Cussler’s Sahara, which wasted the talents of its actors and put a black mark on anyone who even tried to do an adaptation of any of his books. A good number of these movies were hit and miss and very few held enough of the public’s attention span to warrant mention.

There’s one imitation that did something remarkably different from the movie adaptation of Da Vinci Code and gave viewers what the readers felt about the book, complete fascination. That movie was National Treasure as it capitalized on the concept of secrets hidden throughout national monuments. It spawned a sequel, which was lukewarm in its reception but still enjoyable. Of course the source of tension in these stories, is that there is more than the hero, looking for usually rare or long lost “treasure”. In the sixth volume of Djinn, Kim undergoes new trials and soon finds a rival.

We find Kim, tracking down Jade’s path and where her treasure is hidden, which leads her to a feared tribe, the Orushi. Kim encounters a man who goes only by the name, Jaeger, who is looking for the same black pearl for his own self interests. Eventually Kim gets captured by the Orushi, who offers as a sacrifice to their god. By book’s end, she escapes the Orushi’s clutches but gets closer to what happened to Jade and the Nelsons.

Overall, an installment that expands on the origins of our heroines and what exactly happened to them. The story by Jean Dufaux is captivating, evenly paced, and entertaining. The art by Ana Miralles is gorgeous and alluring. Altogether, this is the best issue yet in this ongoing saga.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Djinn Volume 5 Africa

When it comes to 80s movies, many thoughts run across many people’s heads with numerous adjectives describing the ridiculousness of many of their premises. Who can forget Red Dawn, a film that’s both far fetched and plausible considering the hostile geo-political climate of today’s world relations. Then there is Weird Science, a screwball comedy where two boys accidentally create the perfect woman. Then there is the Tom Hanks fantasy Big, which is both fun and melancholy while not forgetting the innocence of childhood.

The movies from that decade that seem to hold a special place throughout generations are those romantic comedies. One of the best is Money Can’t Buy Me Love featuring a then unknown Patrick Dempsey as an awkward teenager navigating puberty and love. Then there is Daryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher’s Summer Lovers where they are an American couple who engage in a relationship with a young French woman in Greece. In the fifth volume of Djinn, our characters embark on a new escapade much like the characters in Summer Lovers, one which takes them to Africa and even more stimulating opportunities.

We find Lady Nelson, mostly unharmed but the rest of her party annihilated, while both Lord Nelson and jade are missing, when Charles Augery, a friendly face supervisor at the local trading post, somewhere in Africa. WE soon find out that the two had been kidnapped by a local tribe whose main attribute is that their affliction is leprosy. We soon find out through a series of flashbacks, that Jade, through her benevolence, also may lead to her fate, as the tribe wants to purify her by fire. By book’s end, Jade awakens an ancient deity that may wield some unknown power that she has unleashed onto the world.

Overall, this volume resets the series, offering readers a different mystery on in which the reader gets entrenched in a jungle adventure. The story by Jean Dufaux is enigmatic, perilous, and enjoyable. The art by Ana Miralles is elegant and vivid. Altogether, a great installment in an already stellar series.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Djinn Volume 4 The Treasure

I remember the first time I ever watched Raiders of the Lost Ark and the feeling I left the movie theater with. The way that whole movie started with Indiana Jones in the middle of the jungle, trying to retrieve that long lost artifact was thrilling. The whole scenario that played out soon after that was probably the most exciting 10 minutes my four year old self had seen up to that point. At the end of the scene the viewer find out Indiana is more that he seems to be. Instead of a smuggler he’s an archaeologist. The character would go on to three other movies, with a new one the way as well as a television show featuring a younger version of the character.

The thing that attracted to me to the character was not only the adventure, but the need for a greater purpose. As the character in all the movies had the best of intentions.

In the fourth volume of Djinn Kim has finally escaped the harem, and treks a journey to open a treasure hidden deep in the desert.

In the first few pages of this volume, Kim soon finds out she has inherited the powers of the Djinn through her grandmother, powers that she quickly finds out scares most people. This sis where Ebu Sarki joins forces with her and Malek to find the treasure long hidden form human eyes, what is. We are also taken back to Jade’s time and sees just how she became so powerful, as the powered she had over the Sultan became legendary. By book’s end, Kim departs but the mystery of the letter left for her becomes even more intriguing as we finally meet the man who sent it.

Overall, an excellent story that will keep the reader tangled in the magnificent web that Jean Dufaux and Ana Miralles have spun. The story by Dufaux is fun, action packed, scintillating, and entertaining. The art by Miralles is striking and even keeled. Altogether, an installment that only makes the book better.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story:9.7 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

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