Saturday, 12 December 2015

Luminae by Bengal Review

Luminae is the story of some scantily-clad women with magic powered weapons fighting a demon whose army is threatening a human castle.

If you think spectacularly shite writer/artist Bengal elaborates on that flimsy premise in this book, think again! He could not have written a less affecting story than Luminae. It’s so broad and bland, it’s staggering something with less substance than an outline/storyboard got published at all. 

There’s quite a bit of fighting between the women and the demon that reminded me of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball. I think Bengal is definitely a fan who is trying to imitate Toriyama’s style without understanding quite how Toriyama’s books are so much more effective than his own. Some of the differences being that with Toriyama the reader knows who the characters are and understands what’s going on which makes the fighting actually exciting. 

Here, we know nothing about the world Bengal has created. We don’t know who these women are, what their powers and limitations are, who the demon is, why the demon wants to take over this world, why the women are protecting this world from the demon, who the castle and the humans are, or what the stakes are for anyone. Bengal just goes straight into flashy, shallow fighting and it’s so boring to read. 

Bengal is astonishingly inept at writing and drawing distinct characters, all of whom are interchangeable. There are four or five women I think, presumably all with separate names (though I can’t recall any except Luminae’s and only then because that’s also the title of this crap!), but aside from their different coloured thongs they may as well have been one person. Sounds sexist? You’re damn skippy! That’s how shitty Bengal’s work is – all of these women sound and look alike! Everyone else in the cast is as forgettable and one-dimensional (and of course the men are fully clothed!) but these are the main characters who’ve got the lion’s share of the page count and we still know as much about them as some random dog-faced villager who appears for one stinking panel! 

The fighting and anime-style artwork put me in mind of a generic Japanese computer game so it was no surprise to read Bengal’s short bio at the end and discover he works in game design! If Luminae were a game, this twaddle might fly because nobody pays any attention to story in a fighting game, it’s all about the gameplay; except that approach doesn’t work for a comic. This book was abysmal on every level. If you want to read a comic that does everything wrong, check out Luminae!


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