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Story Time Mike Oliveri Reviews by
Mike Oliveri
Strange Kiss
Avatar Press
Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by Mike Wolfer

STRANGE KISS is a great example of the blending of action with horror. The plot of the story focuses on a species of supernatural lizards that use humans to breed. The lizards nestle inside the body of females, and when a man has sex with them, his genitals soon disintegrate. A few days later, out pops a tiny litter of the lizards.

Sound nasty? Wait 'til you see it all illustrated . . . heheh.

Our hero is William Gravel, a "combat magician." He gives vague clues as to who he really works for (some shadowy branch of the government), and he is drawn into the investigation after one of the lizards is discovered inside the body of a woman that has just murdered one man and taken her own life. Soon, however, it becomes personal when he discovers an old friend of his has become a victim of the lizards.

It doesn't take long for him to get to the bottom of things, and with a little help from the local medical examiner he discovers the brothel the lizards are using to propagate their species. After using a little magic and a lot of bullets (not to mention a nasty-funny scene involving a grenade and a cat), Gravel faces off against the creatures' mother.

And she's a hell of a lot bigger than all her children . . .

Writer Warren Ellis (HELLBLAZER, CITY OF SILENCE) once again shows of his penchant for the dark and the bizarre. He states in the afterword to one issue that his goal in this miniseries was to get back to basic horror, and I think he has accomplished that goal. Mike Wolfer's (WIDOW, RAZOR) black and white artwork is very sharp and clear, almost reminiscent of Mark A. Nelson's work on the original ALIENS mini-series from Dark Horse. The car chase in the first issue is a bit oddly drawn (the cars and figures take some moves that appear a little less than plausbile), but other than that I had zero complaints about his work.

Overall a damn good read, and I look forward to the sequel, STRANGER KISSES, due out later in 2000. I give it four rabid fanboys.

Review copyright 2000 by E.C.McMullen Jr.

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