Your Friendly Neighborhood Comic Reviews: Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation Vol. 1 & Hallows' Eve #1

Apr 3, 2023 at 9:03 am
Your Friendly Neighborhood Comic Reviews: Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation Vol. 1 & Hallows' Eve #1

“Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation Volume 1”

Based on the Novel by No Xiang Tong Xiu

Art by Luo Di Cheng Qiu

Review by Felix Whetsel

     In 2015, No Xiang Tong Xiu began publishing a web novel called Mo Dao Zu Shi (known colloquially as MDZS). It was a Xianxia, a specific genre of fantasy out of China that follows characters (cultivators) who study mystical arts to achieve transcendence. In MDZS, the cultivators are highly trained specialists that can be hired to deal with unruly spirits using magic. Just like with any fantasy world, there’s good magic and bad magic, and it has us asking: can you use evil for good?

Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation opens up to a brutal scene showing a young man sacrificing his soul, turning his body into a vessel so that the “most nefarious of malicious ghosts,” can move in and exact revenge. Said ghost, Wei Wuxian, can hardly be described as “malicious” — most of the time he’s just being a silly, goofy guy. However, he is now bound to the ritual and must simultaneously exact revenge for the summoner while also helping young cultivators fend off an actual malicious spirit (using the techniques he was killed for, mind you.) 

     And then old “friends” start showing up.

     We all know that fantasy is an insanely large genre, with more micro-genres than you could count, and I’d love to add Xianxia to your rolodex. If a complicated magic system used to control the paranormal and ancient China as a setting both sound interesting to you, Grandmaster is an excellent starting point.

“Hallows’ Eve #1”

Written by Erica Schultz

Art by Michael Dowling

Review by Krystal Moore

     From the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, Janine Godbe steps into her own limited series as Hallows’ Eve.  When her longtime boyfriend, Spider-Man clone Ben Reilly’s memories are taken away, he becomes the villainous Chasm, sending her off the deep end.  

   Wanted for some pretty hefty crimes, including murder, Janine needs a new identity.  Luckily for her, she has a handy bag of Halloween masks that when worn endows one with the powers of the character.          

     The Model Mask gives you the look of a Hollywood icon.  Looking like and having the charisma of Marilyn Monroe can open some doors!  Equally valuable is the ability to walk through walls while wearing the Ghost mask.  That’s a great one for robbing banks, safes and such.  That is until you need to pick up the loot.  Just as Janine puts on a werewolf mask, she’s surprised by a security guard who takes a shot at her.  When she fights back, our guy, just doing his job, gets pretty beat up, you know, scratches, bites and the like.  And you know what happens then!  If you don’t, I won’t spoil it for you.

   I’m not usually drawn to super hero books these days, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Spider-Man.  This book was a sweet surprise, with a fantastic story by Erica Schultz and outstanding art by Michael Dowling.  I’ll be looking for issue #2 of the five-issue series, most definitely!