Writer: Alan Davis
Artist: Paul Renaud
Color Artist: Stephane Paitreau
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Covers: Paul Renaud; Alan Davis & Morry Hollowell; Kevin Nowlan
Release Date: February 26th, 2020
The Defenders and Avengers have regained their senses but lost Doctor Strange. Will they be able to find him in time to solve the mystery of the ichor? Let’s find out in TAROT #3 by Alan Davis!
The issue begins with the Fantastic Four examining the Infernal Ichor of Ish’izog at the Baxter Building, and discussing the correlation between the vortex that Doctor Strange disappeared into and the destabilization of the Negative Zone. If that sounds like a bunch of gobbledygook, you’re right. The mystery of what the ichor is rescues the convoluted opening of the book, but not for long. The rest of the issue involves groups of heroes splitting up to search for a way to find Doctor Strange, to varying degrees of awfulness.
Let’s get the positive out of the way first: the art. Paul Renaud again delivers terrific character work deserving of a much better story. His Doctor Strange, shown flying through the cosmos, is fantastic. There are a few times where characters’ costumes change slightly for a panel, but before you throw down the book in disgust (there are better reasons for that), know that those changes are intentional and a sly tie-in to the wacky story. Even when the book is padded with dialogue-free pages (a blessing actually), at least you have Renaud’s art. It’s just a shame it’s wasted on a bad book and Wacky Races rejects.
So back to the bad: the writing. Where to begin? The hokey dialogue? Huge reveals given no time to matter and immediately ruined by another huge reveal? Characters talking aloud to themselves to deliver exposition? Cartoon characters from space, because why not? Even the interesting concept of heroes getting mixed and matched when Diablo’s tarot cards are cut in half and reassembled magically doesn’t add up— literally. The best thing you’ll read this issue is “To be concluded.”
TAROT #3 is a mess of a comic book. There is too much going on, and almost none of it is good. If you like nonsense and the hokeyness of older comics, maybe you will enjoy it. Paul Renaud’s art is really the only saving grace otherwise. To quote Valkyrie, “Cans’t thou not see this is nuts?!”