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  1.  (9111.1)
    It's the conclusion of not only the third Gravel story arc, but of the 21 1/2 issue-long trilogy. It's out there. Read it. Comment. And cloak your spoilers.

    And by the way, every review and fan commentary I've read so far has expressed displeasure that the series has been canceled. BAH! That is not the case, as Warren himself has publicly pointed out. Avatar has much more GRAVEL on the way, with the only noticeable change being that I'll be writing solo, with Warren's blessing of plots and scripts, of course.

    Now... Go!
      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2010 edited
    First up? OK... Mike, you done a blinder. Excellent conclusion to the story so far.

    What I like most is how, after showing Our Bill as near-indestructable and King of Magic, he has been brought down so low - and by his own hubris.
    Horribly for him, the fact is he got his unit killed by carelessness and underestimating his enemy. Rookie mistake. Deserves to spend time back with the Hereford Hooligans to get some perspective back.

    The action was great. Being acquainted with combat magic (which is considerably less cool and showy on the outside than Bill's moves!) I loved the fight scene a lot. Sometimes what we create in our heads and throw at others has some of that aspect, and you've caught something of the intangibility of it all. Plus, some fine mythos-building along the way.

    The whole arc worked superbly and I can't wait to see how you do semi-mostly-solo.
  2.  (9111.3)
    This was a great end to the story-arc/trilogy. I can see why people would think it was the end of the series, especially with there being no ads for #22 in the back of this issue. That, and it really did seem like a series ending.
    First: The good -- It was so nice to see William Gravel
    get back to his combat magician roots. He seems to have been lacking that lately. I love the trick with the guns.
    The art goes so well with the series, I hope you continue as the artist, Mr. Wolfer.
    Second: The bad --
    Other than a lot of other magician's dying, nothing has really changed for Mr. Gravel. He started this series with nothing (no status, the SAS not liking him, being on his own, etc) and it ends in much the same way. Sure, he could be considered the king of England's magicians but it seems like there's not many left and that his place of power is significantly weakened (unless I read that wrong.) I guess that's kind of the problem I have with a lot of on-going series'. The illusion of things changing.

    If I'm wrong about anything in the 'bad' section please tell me. I'll probably believe you and I'm not going to argue about it.

    Any educated guess as to when #22 might be coming out?
    • CommentAuthorales kot
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2010
    I liked it, but not as much as I hoped for.

    The final fight seemed abrupt. I hoped for something that would actually make me feel nervous for Gravel, something that would drive him to the edge...and no, nothing like that happened. He just solved it, fast and dirty. The villain wasn't that much of a threat after all. If there was one more chapter, just the fight and nothing else, spiraling down until Gravel somehow killed the bastard...yeah, I'd love to see that.

    Still a good comic, but not awesome.

    So, the question is, where do you want to go with Gravel, Mike?
  3.  (9111.5)
    Warped Savant- Agree 100% on The Bad. Gravel has been a really fun rollercoaster ride, but as far as I can tell it followed the rollercoaster formula just a little too closely- a whole lot of "Wheeee!!!" and then...? I'm glad there's a next issue, though. I'd love to see Gravel as the magician equivaltent of a warrior king, maybe not afforded the respect of those born to the position but you damn well treat him right if you want to keep your head attached to your shoulders.
    • CommentAuthorratjin
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2010
    Yeah, having that "End" at the end, plus my inability to find any preorder info for Gravel #22 led me to think it was cancelled as well.

    I'm glad to hear it's continuing! Thanks so much for telling us that here! And good on you for going it solo, Mr. Wolfer!
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2010
    Is it really a return to the status quo though? The bastards running things are gone. Most likely for good. And Gravel hasn't become The Authority. He'd probably consider that a result.

    Can we assume spoilers beyond this point?
    • CommentAuthorcjstevens
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2010
    Absolutely awesome.
    Great job guys, art was truly mind-blowing.

    Gravel is the baddest of asses.

    How do u cloak text??
    • CommentAuthorJECole
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2010
    Essentially, Gravel was a vicious antibiotic who cleansed Britain of an infection. Job Done. Back to slotting people for beer money.

    Looking forward to seeing more of Srg Maj Gravel's misadventures. Bravo lads.
  4.  (9111.10)
    CJ -- Click the 'hide' button at the beginning of the stuff you want to hide (the button is above the box you're typing in, 9th one from the left) and simply click it again when you're done with the stuff you want to hide.

    JECole -- That would be great if that's what he does next.
      CommentAuthorMike Wolfer
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010 edited
    As you can imagine, I can't spill just yet on where Gravel's next adventure might take him, but I do have plans for a story for which I've already planted the seeds. If you read back, a very specific and curious event occurs, and when Gravel learns of this, he's going to take it very, very personally.

    Will we see a return to the "status quo?" It certainly looks like that might be in the cards, but you have to consider Gravel's previous position before the events of the Minor/Major/King storyline: Nearly every facet of his entire life has been structured by his military service. That's who he is and that's where he's comfortable, even if his Combat Magician status has afforded him the luxury of rewriting the rules of service to suit his own needs. That was all taken away, and that supporting framework which he worked within was erased. What we saw in the concluding arc of the trilogy was a man cast adrift from everything he knew, and Gravel's quiet resignation on the final page of #21 succinctly illustrates what he needs to do to regain his touchstone.

    I wouldn't overestimate Gravel's status, or assume that "the bastards running things are gone." He's one man against an empire with complex military, political and social apparati. That's where he feels that he "fits," but within those mechanisms there will always be "bastards."
  5.  (9111.12)
    What I liked:
    Gravel works best as a street level anti-hero with touches of world class power. Having the sort of world-bordering-on-cosmic level power of the King of Witches was a hindrance to the story. We weren't afraid for him anymore. Now he's vulnerable again, maybe moreso than at the beginning of the series. Where it goes from here who knows, but it's bound to be interesting.

    What I disliked:
    I barely got to know the Minor Five Seven. I wanted to see more of them. It seemed like an arc was missing where we might have gotten to know them and care enough about them that their deaths were shocking rather than just gruesome. It seemed like such a waste. That and Gravel sending them off, not seeming all that concerned when he didn't hear from them... that seemed forced, out of character. I think it would have been more interesting if we'd seen it get to him. He's supposed to be a hard nut and all, but I didn't like that he let his team be punked and his big irritation was that the Queen didn't like him. I wanted to see the team get a shot in at the villain from beyond the grave or something, but as it was they just got taken out like mooks.

    I'm looking forward to future stories. My gripes aside, a worthy story and a great character. Look forward to seeing more from him.
    • CommentAuthorDoktor B
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2010
    Note to LordFluffy:

    <code>Notice, however, that we actually saw the remains of only <em>four</em> of the five "minor seven" topping off Bible John"s magickal apparatus. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that the goth girl survived the explosion somehow, and that we will see her wield her cutting-magick in a future issue!<div id="hide">
  6.  (9111.14)
    ...or, because of the force of the explosion, Layla Wicker's body was incinerated. I'm not saying one way or the other, I'm just throwing that out there...