C-23 (1988): Comic 3 out of 10: We review issue #3 and #7 of this 8 issue run. Below is some overall information about the series and some details on Issue #3. We take another dive in our Issue #7 review.
A few points about our new Comic Book Reviews.
These comic book reviews are new, so the format certainly may change. Can I really review a series by only reading two of the eight comics? I believe I can much as one can get whether they like a television series after a few episodes. Particularly in a limited series such as this one. And after reading two of the comics, I am not exactly champing at the bit to read more.
You are going to continue to improve your comic scans, right? Yes, this is a work in process, as I stated above. We are already doing better in comic scans than we did with our The (Devil’s) Workshop Review. (I am so sorry about those) of course I substituted weird borders and angles for random glare. Baby Steps. I thank those that are taking this journey with me and I can assure you that we will continue our award-winning movie reviews.
The C-23 Series
In the future, cybernetically enhanced HyperShock troopers are the heroes of the Colony, the underground city where the earth’s few remaining humans live. The HyperShock’s goal is to reclaim the earth’s surface from monstrous humanoid insects, the Angelans. In the middle of this generations-long conflict, Corbin, the leader of the HyperShocks, discovers a secret that will not only change the course of war, but the course of humanity as well.
Scarred and damaged is our earth. Genetic abominations dominate the surface. Defiant humans survive deep within. There are wars within wars. HyperShock warriors are forged from flesh and metal. The last hope of humanity.
Slay the enemy. Protect the queen. Share my thoughts. Keep the secrets.
The quote above is not from the comic itself. And it certainly is not from me. It is boilerplate on the Card trading site inmint.com. You see, C-23 isn’t just a comic book from the mind of Jim Lee, it is also a groundbreaking card collectible game from the fine folks at Wizards of the Coast.
In fact, C-23 #3 comes with an exclusive game card inside.
I have a YouTube of the card game review below (C-23 it part of the ARC system shared by Xena Warrior Princess and Hercules.) From the Inmint.com website, you can pick up the card sets very cheap, even though it has been out of print for years. The comics are not all that dear either. Which brings us to the question are the comics any good?
C-23 (1998) #3 Review
C-23 (1988): Comic 3 out of 10: Cover 5 out of 10: The cover isn’t all that bad though I am smidge unclear who exactly that is supposed to be. The exclusive game card inside declaration at the bottom does not inspire confidence, of course. I notice they have sexy insect lady in the Image logo. Surprisingly, they never lead with her in any of their cover choices. In fact, many of thier cover choices are downright awful. The bigger surprise is this being touted as Jim Lee presents: He doesn’t appear to have contributed any covers to the project. A serious misstep.
The Good: I will discuss the comic in a moment. What I want to talk about is the background story included at the end of the comic. It is a two-page text story taking place before the events of the comic. In issue #3 it is pretty good setting up the dystopian wasteland and the Insect guy, who we can assume will be eventually responsible for the Insect based humanoid Angelans that rule the surface world while the humans toil underground. C-23 #7 has even a better background story I cover in that review.
There is a sexy big breasted insect lady to seduce our hero. Which starts off with the question if she is an insect based life form, why does she have breasts? I am not against such things, mind you, but the comic is unclear. And where exactly is she secreting her royal jelly from? Again, the comic is all questions and no answers.
At least why is the insectoid a D cup is an interesting question. C-23 is filled with a lot of less interesting conflicts. Our hero Corbin and his boss, the floating green skull guy Cronus (Who spoiler alert might be a bad guy based on his love of genocide and the fact he consists of a glowing green skull), have a fistfight. That goes on for more than a few pages. Then the large-breasted love interest insect girl heals Corbin with her Royal Jelly and Corbin learns he is secretly Harry Potter.
This gets significantly sillier in further issues. The action is dark and there is rarely a sense as to where the action is taking place. The artwork is decent but the character design is over the top in a way that was almost the house style for WildStorm and Image at the time.
In Conclusion: Issue #3 of C-23 provides a free trading card and moves the plot along in some groan worthy ways. The humans are living underground and are in a war to wipe out the Insect people on the surface. The head human is an over the top bad guy and our hero is a secret prince of the insect people. The pacing is fast, but there is virtually no character development and the artwork gives no real sense of place. I will have some more thoughts on the overall series in my review of the penultimate comic C-23 #7.
Final Verdict: Sell all
With no decent covers (and some embarrassingly bad ones) and a simple story about people punching each other, C-23 is sent to the sell pile.