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Criminal Macabre: Cell Block 666 #3

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Nick Stakal
Fangoria, March 2009
Well the double dare challenge in Steve Niles newest CRIMINAL MACABRE series CELLBLOCK 666 is to keep his main character grounded in reality while taking a shortcut through witchcraft. Thing is, once you cross that line, thereís no going back, even if it is a one time gig. Because if Cal McDonald never uses a magic trick again, it will always be questioned against him and writer Steve Niles as to why he used it in the first place. Granted, Cal is sitting in a jail cell, getting death threats from other prisoners and beatdowns from the guards, heís still been through worse. And thatís a particularly good memory to not only draw the symbol on the prison grounds, but also to recite the words without coughing through it like a certain beloved king of deadites. Iím not sure if Steve Niles is transitioning his baby boy to the next level of supernatural war, or if heís stretching it a bit like gum on a shoe... on a hot summer day. I guess fans like me will have to wait and see on what Cal McDonald will become in his crazy, nighttime adventures.

The art is good from Nick Stakal, but feels a little rushed at times in this issue. Not sure if thatís from the light coloring on Michelle Madsenís part, or if a deadline for everyone was too close to care for in the lines, but it does show in some panels. I can definitely see the passion behind MoíLock tearing off a head from another ghoul, but I donít see the appeal afterwards where MoíLock takes that head to Cal McDonald for a little talk slash story exposition. Not to mention a lettering mistake on page four causing a little confusion between ghouls beating each other up, this issue speaks rush and run a little bit. But hey, it could all be just a funny magic trick in setting up issue four to rock the socks off Cal McDonald readers. ďThe voodoo that you doĒ is keeping track of what Cal can and canít do. Hereís hoping Mr. Niles can explain this one in the series ender.

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