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‘The Deluxe Gimenez: The Fourth Power & The Starr Conspiracy’ (review)

Written and Illustrated by Juan Gimenez
Published by Humanoids

 

Until COVID-19 cut his life short in November of 2020, Juan Giménez was an Argentinian comic book artist famous for his detailed imagery. In his preface to The Deluxe Giménez, artist Bill Sienkiewicz calls Giménez’s work “gorgeous, well-drawn and fantastical.”

I agree with Sienkiewicz’s observations and add that Giménez’s art has a powerful modern flare.

The Deluxe Giménez is a collection of two of Giménez’s works,The Fourth Power and The Starr Conspiracy.

Sadly The Deluxe Giménez, while a beauty to behold, is a bit of a chaotic mess that is difficult to follow. I found the book challenging to consume, and I often lost track of what was going on and why from panel to panel. Being a translation, I attribute that lack of coherency to being a poor translation.

As a fan of anime and manga, I am well aware that despite the best intentions, translations and dubbs often miss the mark of the creator’s original intent. For instance, as much as I love Attack on Titan, I have found the translated manga challenging to consume and understand.

The Fourth Power is about the odyssey of star soldier Exether Mega who—through a series of heavy encounters—discovers she’s at the center of a complex, secret experiment to create the ultimate weapon of war. I wanted to enjoy this story with its gorgeous art and exciting premise. Mega’s tale is of significant loss, tragedy, and ultimate discovery and liberation. But for all of the reasons above, her tale fell flat. I could not engage in the manner I am confident the author hoped for.

On the other hand, The Starr Conspiracy is a witty, randy, over-the-top, wild comedic romp. The story follows the misadventures of a famous intergalactic journalist and his timid dimwitted cousin. Despite being difficult to follow, I connected with The Starr Conspiracy for its irreverent and naughty nature.

While I did not enjoy The Deluxe Giménez, I would not say to avoid it completely. I think if I could have read either work in their native language I would have enjoyed both better. The art is gorgeous, and the premise of both stories is fascinating. Just be advised that it will take a great deal of patience to get through this nearly 400-page tome.

Final Score: 2.75 out of 5 stars

 

 

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