THE STEAM MAN #3 Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Gail Williams

As the stranded monster hunters attempt to rehabilitate their crippled Steam Man, the Dark Rider makes ready his own war machine! Now, as the shadow of death looms overhead, can the intrepid crew raise the steam-powered titan in time to prevent untold destruction?

That's the Steam Man striding through the dead forest, with Captain Beadle asking what he’s looking at. That would be the Morlock lair. Originally in London, but since this is America the only explanations I can come up with is continental drift, or more likely just the usual propensity of Americans to steal from other cultures. Anyway, John Feather recognises it as the Dark Riders lair.

Then they fall straight into the Dark Riders spike filled trap.

Meanwhile the Dark Rider is dreaming of Weena. Or having a nightmare, depending on your point of view. The Morlocks want him so wake him from his grave of a bed - very Count Dracula. But the Dark Riders guests have arrived, so he does have to greet them.

Switch back to The Steam Man and the men have built a new winch from the raw materials of the forest around them. Weird thing is, they’ve built it over the top of The Steam Man, so even my rusty physics tells me they are never going to get that thing upright from that position. Still, who needs physics huh? They winch him partway up and then Beadle goes in and makes him stand up. At least the artist remembered to have him destroy the misplaced winch in the process.

While the boys are bantering to get back on board, they are stunned to see the approaching giant mechanical walking Morlock. Captain Beadle says:
“Approach that thing with caution. Feel him out. I like to think ol’ steam here is stronger than a big bag of sticks.”
Well you’d certainly like to think that wouldn’t you? I mean steam power against what appears to be winches and oars, maybe we’ll find out in the next issue.

This is another good installment. The artwork is consistent and the storyline is moving on. I’m looking forward to seeing how four humans handle a horde of Morlocks in hand to hand combat. I have to say the extra page, the last image of the Dark Rider riding (after the end of the comic) is really lovely too.

However, this issue only gets a three out of five from me, the extra point was lost because the physics of the winch bothered me.

Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find out more about Gail, check out - Dare you!

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