Anything by Travis Charest goes right onto my “must-have” list; he’s an amazing artist that seems to keep getting better. Unfortunately, he also seems to be getting slower with new work sorely lacking. I anxiously awaited Weapons Of The Metabaron from Humanoids: here’s the publisher’s blurb.
The trio of Jodorowsky, Charest, and Janjetov show how the Metabaron assembled the galaxy’s most powerful and destructive weapons in an effort to become an invincible warrior. Travis Charest’s (Artist of WILDCATS, WILDC.A.T.S/X-MEN: THE GOLDEN AGE, and STAR WARS comics Cover Artist) long awaited interpretation of the METABARONS mythology.
These salient facts took importance once I had the book in my hands: hardcover, 64 pages, 7.75 x 10.5 inches, $19.95 US. It seemed a bit light for the price, and it was that odd Humanoids size they seem to favour. Looking at the cover, image above, there was no mistaking who was the star of the book: Travis Charest’s credits were larger than the title! Doing a quick flip through revealed that Charest did pages 11 to 38, with Zoran Janjetov handling pages 7-10 and 39-61. Hmm, so we’re actually receiving half a story of “Charest’s interpretation of the Metabarons mythology”.
This was my first taste of the Metabaron universe for the 55 pages of actual story in the book don’t expect to walk away fulfilled. Apparently they’re ultimate warrior mercenaries who don’t lose, in a sci-fi universe that has a lot of occult and mystical ties, along with giant monsters. I can’t say I took much away from the story, other than it seems designed for the big screen and not the printed page. Lots of big fight panels with special effects but no real explanations; it really feels like Jodorowsky wanted this for a movie. I could be trying to find gold in a silver mine here: the story is guy fights things to get objects, done. It’s chapter of a larger work but we don’t get anything in the hardcover to point us in any direction: no introduction or afterward, not even a mention of where the story continues or from whence it began.
That leaves the art as the big draw, pun intended. Janjetov and Charest have dramatically different art styles and it really comes through. The Charest art is gorgeous and finely detailed with a lot of pencil work and fine detailing in most panels, but it looks too small for the format and I found myself squinting in the hopes of enjoying all the details. To really get a sense you’d need the pages twice this size. On the other hand Janjetov has clean lines, letting the colours and inks do a lot of the work and presenting straightforward and enjoyable art.
In the end, Weapons Of The Metabaron is a hardcover showcasing some Travis Charest artwork. The story as told in this book is a fragment that needs more, matching the Charest art in its lack of completion.
Weapons Of The Metabaron
Humanoids, 2010, ISBN 978-1-59465-036-9