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Manor Black Mixes Horror With Soaps the Best Since Dark Shadows

In "Reason to Get Excited," I spotlight things from modern comics that I think are worth getting excited about. I mean stuff more specific than "this comic is good," ya know? More like a specific bit from a writer or artist that impressed me.

Today I talk about how well Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Tyler Crook mix soap operatic plots and horror together in the Manor Black.

The comic book, drawn and colored by Crook, is GORGEOUS and it centers on three main characters. Roman Black is the patriarch of the Manor Black and he has to decide who will succeed him when it is time for him to make the "descent." He gets to consult with his ancestors for this decision, but ultimately the call has to be his...

His son, Reginald, clearly thinks it should be him and Roman's wife is disappointed that Roman doesn't seem to want to give it to his son...

Meanwhile, our other main character, Harvey, is about to go from Deputy Sheriff to Sheriff in one quick burst of flames...

Finally, we meet Ari, a magician on the run who is being hunted by a group of wild magicians before she comes under Roman Black's protection...

It is with Ari and the Black family that our most soap opera elements come into play, as the rest of the family is not happy with an interloper possibly getting into their father's good graces so soon before the descent...

Meanwhile, Roman Black's daughter, Lorelei, tries to stay out of her family's affairs and is working at a town diner when magic interferes with her world, as well...

Leading to Roman, Ari and Harvey both showing up at the diner just when things go haywire...

Luckily, Ari is connected to the Fire Totem and was able to keep it from being much worse.

By the end of the series, things really don't get resolved, so much as they get settled for THIS PRECISE MOMENT, while basically making it clear that this is all about setting the story up for any future stories. Lots of horror type stories have soap opera elements to them, but few are as quite as clear as Manor Black is (well, Dark Shadows, of course, but that was many years ago).

It was a really well done miniseries, so I sure as heck we get more stories in the Manor Black series. Great jobs by everyone involved!

Okay, this feature is a bit less of a reader-interactive one, as I'm just spotlight stuff in modern comics that specifically impressed ME, but heck, if you'd like to send in some suggestions anyways, maybe you and I have the same taste! It's certainly not improbably that something you found cool would be something that I found cool, too, so feel free to send ideas to me at brianc@cbr.com!

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