Thursday 9 November 2017

Review: Iron Maiden - Legacy of the Beast #1

Since I was 13 I've been obsessed with Iron Maiden. Truly this is the greatest band to even set foot on god's green Earth, with astounding live shows and incredible albums that blow other bands half their age out of the water. So naturally I picked up the Legacy of the Beast comic from Heavy Metal. But is it good?

For the uninitiated, Legacy of the Beast is a mobile game that launched last year and provides the inspiration for the comic. The game sees you progressing through time and space in a turn-based almost-Pokemon collect-a-thon. The game's story is reflected on the comic. There exists a race of Eternals, beings that live outside the confines of space-time, and Maiden's perennial zombie-flavoured mascot Eddie is one of them. Writer Ian Edginton adds a further element to this mix, making Eddie into the personification of creativity and therefore rebellion against mundanity. The story goes that the titular Beast, a literal red devil ripped from the Number of the Beast album cover art, wants to drive people to conform, to repeat their uninteresting lives until they die. In this way, Eddie is the antithesis of the Beat, therefore sworn enemies.

We first meet Eddie chained to a tree where a mysterious red headed woman called the Clairvoyant finds him. Another Eternal, the Clairvoyant's main role is to be a vehicle for exposition and to become Eddie's guide. You see, poor Edward has lost his soul - it was ripped from him and scattered throughout space and time. Other less savoury characters have become imbued with the power of his soul shards and, err, are doing things? It's not quite clear what the consequence of this is. In fact, right now everything is a mystery. Why are those cultists wearing animal masks? Why is one of them actually a muscular humanoid pig? Where did the huge Wickerman come from?

While the pencils by Kevin West are good and the colours by Raul Manriquez and Emmanuel Ordaz are nicely done, the story at the moment seems incredibly confused. However, I don't like to place too much judgement on the first issue of a series, so I'm happy to see how it plays out. I sincerely hope that they don't just follow the game - going to different worlds and beating people up, and actually do something further with the characters. Having Eddie as a growling beast with a cheeky side is a great idea and I don't mind the Clairvoyant, but her dialogue is a little stock, particularly the moment she delivers a couple of lines of Run to the Hills.

I'm happy to see where Legacy of the Beast goes, but it's going to have to work hard to help the reader make sense of the world, particularly if they've never played the game.

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