Dark Beginnings, a LADY BABYLON Review
Lady Babylon is a dark love story from Irish writer Darrin O’Toole and drawn by Alan Hurley.
Following the character of Leila Waddell, we are introduced to her life as a supreme violinist in the year 1908 when she is introduced to the mysterious and charming Aleister. A man with lofty ambitions and an even loftier life style. Leila is completely enthralled by Aleister. She finds him intoxicating and she eventually falls deeply in love for him. Unfortunately events take a turn for the worse and Leila realizes all too late that she may have bitten off more than she can chew with her mystery man. After a demon claims her soul and Aleister disappears into the night, Leila is left with the fragments of a broken life and when death finally comes she realizes that her journey into the bizarre and macabre has only just begun.
With Lady Babylon, O’Toole’s writing is hit and miss. At times you are really pulled in and the story just oozes the grim and ghastly mood it’s aiming for but when it comes to the love story I couldn’t find anything that drew me in. I felt that the dialogue didn’t live up to its ambitious storyline, with some more genuine and original dialogue Lady Babylon could have made its characters more memorable. Leila is a decent narrator but that to me was all she was, a narrator.
There was no real personality to her, her actions or her motivations felt forced. The art worked well for the most part, Hurley is clearly having fun with a style that showcases the unusual and twisted world that Leila and Aleister inhabit. However at times his work comes off as simple sketches done in passing and it retracts from the great work that is seen in other pages of Lady Babylon. If I am being honest Lady Babylon feels like a comic that is not quite finished, I felt like I was reading a work in progress, with more attention to detail and sharper dialogue this could have been something weird and wonderful instead it’s just weird.