Virtual Display Case: Post-Christmas Hangover Edition

Howdy, space cadets! Now that you've spread holiday cheer to friends and loved ones for another year, it's time to get back to eleven months of coveting neat geeky goodies for numero uno!

Umbrella Academy Loot

Now that Umbrella Academy is my new favorite book of the moment, I've started to notice all the cool tie-ins they have coming down the pike. I could take or leave the Vanya statue, but I sure wish they had released a hardcover of the Apocalypse Suite before the softcover!

Huntress PVC

I don't even particularly care for the character of Huntress, but for some unaccountable reason I think this is a real cool design. Nice work!

Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator Pistol

Let's face it: this is the raygun of all rayguns. Heck, even the Foo Fighters pay tribute to it on the cover of their first album. But am I crazy to think that for 180 bucks I could track down an original on ebay instead of settling for a replica? Hell for 180 bucks it should actually be capable of disintegrating stuff! Now that would be a cool toy!

B.P.R.D. Ring
Most mornings when I roll out of bed, I feel just as freakish as the folks in the BPRD. I feel like I'd fit right in-- except for the part about not having any superpowers. (Alas)

Avengers Hall of Fame: Falcon and Iron Man

The Avengers are my all-time favorite superteam. If I had a stately geek manor as opposed to a boring old, y'know, house, I would have an entire hall devoted to every hero who has ever been an Avenger. Although I guess I would have to include Wolverine and Spider-Man, in that case (sigh) My favorite Iron Man armor is the early design with the pointed mask, but the above classic look is a close second. Are you like me, did you immediately recognize the pose from the cover of Iron Man #126?:

Blassreiter Berzerker:

I have no idea what Blassreiter is; never heard of it, never seen a minute of it. Alls I know is this is a cool-looking character. Sorta like a bastard love child of Baron Karza and a ninja!

Gossamer and Mad Scientist Vinyl Set:

Okay, seeing how this one is only 12 bucks, I may have to break down and get it. Monsters are the most iiiiiiiinteresting people!


The Enterprise Experiment

IDW is the latest in a long line of comic publishers to take a crack at the Star Trek franchise. Over the years, Gold Key, Marvel, DC, Malibu and Wildstorm have produced Star Trek comics, but I’ve never been overly impressed with any company’s version. For one thing, Star Trek rarely seems to attract top-notch artists. And while Lucasfilm over the years has done an admirable job of coordinating all their tie-ins so they fit in one coherent overall storyline, the Star Trek series are all over the place, and don’t tie together well at all. Do the IDW books fall into the same trap?

The Enterprise Experiment was co-written by D.C. Fontana, who is a veritable legend among Trek writers, having been consistently involved with the franchise from its inception. Fontana has written episodes of Star Trek, the Animated Series, the Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine, as well as the novel Vulcan’s Glory and the scripts for several Trek video games. She obviously has a very intimate knowledge of these characters and their universe, which comes through clearly on the page. I do have to question, though, whether the non-Trekkie who is not versed in the lore will be able to pick this up and enjoy it as straight science fiction adventure.

The first two issues of the Enterprise Experiment serve as a sequel to the classic TOS episode “The Enterprise Incident”, which was also written by Fontana 40 years ago. In that story, Spock hoodwinked a female Romulan commander and the Enterprise made off with the Romulans’ cloaking device. This book opens about 2 years later and the Enterprise has been selected to test out the Federation’s own version of the device. Unfortunately, all does not go as planned and the ship and her crew begin to slowly phase out of their proper dimensional plane. In the midst of this crisis, who should show up on the scene but a Romulan bird of prey, commanded by the very same commander who lost her cloaking device in the first place? (what, I ask you, what are the odds?) The majority of this two-parter consists of a running (and floating, when the artificial gravity goes out) firefight with a Romulan boarding party, while Scotty is frantically trying to solidify the ship before everyone fades out of existence.

The artist on this book is Gordon Purcell, who also has been associated with Trek for a pretty long time, having pencilled many issues of the DC Star Trek series during the eighties and nineties. I’m sorry to say that I find Purcell’s work to be competent and serviceable while being almost completely uninteresting and unexciting. In fact, the artwork is so dull that I almost dozed off just now while typing Purcell’s name. I feel like Purcell gets these gigs primarily because he is quite good at making the character’s likenesses match the real actors who play them. While that would be a neat bonus if Bones looks like DeForrest Kelley and Sulu looks like George Takei (Oh my!) it’s of much less importance to me than exciting storytelling and fantastic imagery, which this book unfortunately lacks.

By the way, the script doesn’t do Purcell any favors, either. Way too much of this book takes place in the interiors of ships and shuttles. It reminds me of “bottle shows” of bygone Trek series, where the producers needed to save budget so the entire episode would take place on pre-existing sets. This is a comic, for Surak’s sake, they can take the adventure literally anywhere and have nearly anything happen, yet we get page after page of constricting ship interiors. Even when the story calls for some eye-popping visuals they still blow it. At one point, in order to escape from the Romulans, Kirk decides to fly the phased Enterprise right through a pulsar. Surely that would make for an exciting page of visuals, right? For some unfathomable reason the decision was made to set this scene on the bridge with no exterior shots at all! The only panel to even suggest that they are flying through a star shows the bridge crew shielding their eyes from the blinding glare! (And by the way, couldn't they just turn off the viewscreen until they make it out the other side? Sheesh!)

The third and fourth issues comprise a second adventure, in which the Klingon Captain Kor gains possession of a powerful artifact of the ancient alien race known as the Preservers. The device resembles a similar device that messed with Kirk's head on the planet Amerind (in "The Paradise Syndrome"), and Kirk is desperate that the Klingons should not gain the knowledge of this incomprehensibly advanced technology. The crew actually gets to get off the ship in this one, going planetside and also storming the Klingons' base to steal the artifact back. Sulu gets a moment in the sun disguised as a Klingon and seeing some undercover action.

One of the strongest elements of this miniseries is how effortlessly Fontana and her co-writer Derek Chester weave together disparate elements of Trek continuity and work them into a coherent narrative. The final part of this tale leads to a confrontation with a member of the Organians, who previously enforced a policy of non-violence between humans and Klingons. In the final pages we learn some interesting tidbits about the Preservers, including that the Organians serve them, the Great Galactic Barrier was created by them, and that they predict Lt. Arex's race the Edosians have an important role to play in the future development of the galaxy. You will also see flashback cameos with Jim's nephew Kirk, McCoy's daughter JoAnna, Sarek, Carol and David Marcus. And the phasing/cloak connection clearly foreshadows the TNG episode "The Pegasus". Again, Trek fans will probably be intrigued by what I just wrote, everyone else is likely to scratch their heads and say "The what now?"

These IDW miniseries are being billed as Star Trek: Year Four, the premise being to show the fourth year of the Enterprise's five-year mission, if the show hadn't been cancelled when it was. Which seems a bit laughable because there are already roughly a couple of hundred books and comics covering this same time period. However, upon further examination while Fontana and Chester draw on tons of TV and movie references, this book pretty much ignores all the other previous tie-in material. For instance, a quick look at Memory Beta shows that, including this mini, there are now at least 3 different creators of the Galactic Barrier, and several different explanations as to why the Organians stopped intervening in violence between the Federation and the Klingon empire. Like I said, Star Wars expanded universe is well done, Trek expanded universe is a big incoherent mess.

I feel like I need to give The Enterprise Experiment two ratings, one for Trekkies and one for the non-initiated. I think that Trek fans will dig the characterization, the bits of Trek lore peppered throughout, and the interesting way the creators tie various elements of the history together, at the same time teasing intriguing future storylines. Those who don't know Trek are likely to see some blandly rendered gunfights, some chasing, a bit of trickery, and a lot of weird retro looking clothes and sets. This comic is preaching to the choir.

Trekkie rating: 7.5/10
Non-Trekkie rating: 6/10


Dead Space (Hardcover Collection)

Having already reviewed the Dead Space DVD a few weeks back, it’s now time for me to turn my attention to the comic miniseries that first got the ball rolling. That’s just the backwards kind of a guy I am. This Image series by Antony Johnston and Ben Templesmith is collected in a very nice hardcover and recounts the initial uncovering of the mysterious alien “Marker” on the mining planet of Aegis 7.

In the film, the unrest caused by the hardcore Unitologist faction is just one of the several plot threads running through the story. Here, the conflict between the devout and the non-believers is the central narrative that drives the storyline. Because they are convinced that the Marker is a cornerstone of their faith, the Unitologists among the miners become obsessed with seeing it, touching it, being near it, and are obviously very concerned with how the discovery is handled. The Unitologists are righteous and the skeptics are annoyed, and tensions build very quickly under the artifact’s not-so-subtle influence. Soon the entire colony is a powder keg ready to blow.

Here’s my problem with this scenario: it’s never really made clear why the Unitologists are the target of such derision right from the outset. In the future timeline of this universe, is all religion considered supernatural hokum and nonsense? Or is there a reason why Unitology in particular is worthy of such scorn from the others? Because it is never explained, the non-religious miners come off as judgmental pricks. I mean, I don’t have a religious bone in my body, but when I see someone wearing a yarmulke or making the sign of the cross I don’t run up to them and tell them how irrational and foolish they are; that would be obnoxious. Security Chief Bram Neumann is meant to be our P.O.V. character, but he’s set up in the early going as an intolerant bully. The Unitologists are kooks and everyone else is mean, so is there anyone to root for here?

Granted, once the Marker really starts to mess up everyone’s minds, the Unitologists all go off the deep end and do some crazy shit. But even the non-believers are somewhat affected, losing sleep and seeing dead people. Murders and suicides begin to escalate, people barricade themselves in their rooms and draw on the walls, and oh yeah, there’s a weird fungus growing in the air ducts. And then, of course, the Necromorphs come and everyone is equally screwed, believer or not.

Neumann does what he can to figure out what the hell is going on before it all escalates out of control, but he is dealing with increasingly-crazed zealots, increasingly-violent insomniacs, and an ever-growing alien malevolence. He won't get any help from his "superiors": both the director of colony and the captain of the Ishimura are die-hard Unitologists whose only concern is the safe handling and relocation of the Marker, regardless of how many people die in the meantime. This is one of those horror scenarios where the writing on the wall says everyone is screwed, and it becomes a question of whether a small handful might somehow escaped or everyone is doomed.

Even after both reading the comic and seeing the movie, I still remain unclear about the connections between the Marker, the Unitologists, and the Necromorphs. It seems to be implied that the Marker is a fake, meant to dupe the Unitologists because their weak wills make them more susceptible to mental manipulation. But if so where did the fake marker come from, and who or what would go to such elaborate lengths to guarantee that the perfect conditions would be met to support a deadly virus that would create an army of zombie demons? To what end? I decided to wiki the game to see if there is some closure to these issues, but apparently not. You would think after dropping around a hundred bucks for a book, DVD and game you could at least expect that some of these mysteries would be resolved, but apparently we are meant to do some reading between the lines and drawing of our own conclusions. Either that or they are counting on everyone to come back for the sequel!

(By the way, the character bios in the front of this hardcover include what may be a very telling error in the text of Director Carthusia's bio, explaining that "his family has been a respected pillar of the Church of Scientology for three generations..." Scientology? I thought the religion in this series is called Unitology. Hmm...

Both comic and movie have a goodly amount of creepy excitement, but they also are so similar that I would only recommend that a die-hard fan of this universe buy them both. For everyone else, one or the other would do. For me, the comic is the better-looking of the two. One of my few disappointments with the movie was the art style on the characters which was very generic 80's to me. On the other hand, there is no disputing that Ben Templesmith has a very interesting and distinct art style; it might not be everyone's cup of tea but I mostly dug it (although I'm not a fan of how he draws hands). I'm not sure if Templesmith did the coloring as well (there's no separate colorist credited), but whoever was responsible did a fantastic job, giving the whole scenario a dark and tense look through interesting palette choices and shading. I think this is one of the first times I've even mentioned the colorist in a review, which says something about how good I think this book looks.

In terms of an overall horror experience, I would probably give the edge to the film. If you are trying to unnerve a viewer, the luxury of movement, music , sound effects, and voice acting trumps a static comic page, for me at least. However, this is a nice looking book and if you are a fan of horror comics you should find it a satisfying read.

Rating: 7/10

Fight, Robots, Fight!

Wish I could take credit for discovering all these fun videos, but usually the super-geniuses at Neatorama provide the heads up and I just pass it along.

This fun video was apparently someone's final project at University.

http://vimeo.com/1470875 from Digital Animation Herts Uni UK on Vimeo.

More reviews soon, honest!


I Love This!

I dearly love Paul Verhoeven's original Robocop: it's the most wonderfully exciting, hilarious, violent and gory superhero movie ever made. If you have yet to see it, I urge you not to watch the following video. If you think trailers give away too much about a movie, forget it, this blows the whole thing! Get thee to the nearest video store or Netflix queue and get a copy, you won't be disappointed.

Major props to the Anomalies, whoever they are. If you are already familiar with the film, check out this brilliant encapsulation which boils the whole thing down to 10 wonderful minutes:


Terminator Salvation Trailer

The fellas at Major Spoilers have posted this trailer for the next Terminator film. Stuff like Watchmen and Star Trek are getting a lot more hype but I find myself really looking forward to this one...


The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Before the remake hits theaters this weekend, I decided to take another look at he original The Day the Earth Stood Still and see if I liked it any better the second time around. The first time I watched it I was kind of bored and underwhelmed by it, but times and tastes change and maybe I was just in a restless mood that day. If nothing else I wanted the original fresh in my mind to compare with the new version.

The opening ten minutes are probably some of the most exciting in the film. An eerily glowing flying saucer buzzes across the Washington DC cityscape before hovering down for a landing on a local baseball field. It throbs eerily but initially shows no sign of action. As the ship lays quietly and unassumingly on baseball field, swarms of tanks and soliders circle it, guns at the ready. Finally, the lone figure of a man emerges and proclaims, “We have come to visit you in peace and goodwill.”

Rather than be appeased by this statement, the soldiers all raise their guns higher. Of course, the being doesn’t help matters by drawing out a strange silver device that, at the flick of a button, suddenly extrudes several metal prongs. He gets shot by a gittery soldier for his unwise action. So much for peace and goodwill!

The wounded alien, called Klaatu, is not hurt badly and is patched up at a nearby hospital. However, his mission is not panning out well. He announces to a representative of the President that he has a message that he can only deliver to all the nations of Earth simulatenously. Soon, he learns that territorial foreign powers refuse to send represenatives and demand that Klaatu come to them. Now look, I know tensions were bad in the 50’s. The cold war was on, people were digging fallout shelters and students were going through bombing drills where they were encouraged to crawl under their desks and kiss their collective asses good-bye. But you’re going to tell me a man from space landing on Earth is not enough of an incentive to send somebody-- any low-level shlub would do-- to see what this visitor has to say? I wonder if things were really that bad, or if the filmmakers are just showing a bit of a pro-USA bias here?

Soon Klaatu sneaks out of the hospital and decides to hide among humanity for a bit. The theory here, I take it, is to observe first hand what humans are like and try to deduce if there’s any hope for them. To this end, he gets a room at a boarding house, and listens at the supper table to the chit-chat. He wanders around DC with a young boy visiting monuments, and has a talk with a local scientist. Besides the fact that it moves with the speed of an iceberg, here’s what’s wrong with this section: Klaatu really doesn’t experience all that much of the extremes of human behavior, and I’m not sure how he can take away much of anything from his sojourn. The most inspiring thing he finds about humanity comes from an inscription on a monument. The worst of humanity he encounters is-- well, the fact that a mother would leave her young son with a complete stranger so that she can go gallavanting with her boyfriend!

A huge manhunt is on for Klaatu, and although he gets a bit of help from the boy and his mother, he is soon tracked down by the military and shot in the back while he is running away. See? We are warlike-- we just indescriminantly gun down unarmed men in three piece suits!

Now we get to the part that was probably the most thrilling for fifties moviegoers, wherein Klaatu’s robot companion Gort flips the fuck out and makes a beeline for where Klaatu’s body is being held. Here is where we should get to see some full-on ramapaging robot action, but even here I was disappointed. Anytime the film deals with Gort, it’s in half-measures. Earlier, when Klaatu came for a visit to the ship, the robot approached from behind two soldiers guarding the saucer. But then there is a quick cut to the little boy’s face and by the time we switch back the soldiers are lying in a heap. Did Gort knock their heads together or just crumple them with a sweep of his massive arm, or what? Even as he marches out into the world to retrieve Klaatu, his wave of descruction basically consists of him shooting people and things in his way, and they quickly and cleanly disappear in a flash of light. Gort so doesn’t kick ass in this movie the way you really want him to.

Back on board the ship, Gort uses the technology therein to revive Klaatu, who finally delivers a message from the galactic community to the Earth. Basically he says, if you want to kill each other, it’s disgusting but we’ll deal. But if you start shooting up ships into space with deadly atomic capabilities, we’re gonna burn your world to a cinder and you’d better believe it brother! It’s a pretty potent message, but if he didn’t need the representatives of the world to be present after all, why didn’t he deliver it 12 minutes into the film? Unless something about what he saw in the interim somehow changed the content of the warning. If this is the case, I’m not sure Klaatu’s epiphany is spelled out enough.

By the way, the Christian parallels in this story completely went over my head until I read about them on wikipedia. They do seem pretty obvious now that I know they’re there, but it sure seems like an arrogant move on the part of the filmmakers. It’s like they’re saying, “Our point of view on this issue is so correct, even Jesus himself is on our side.”

Most people consider modern remakes a blasphemy, especially if the original is as highly regarded as this film is. But frankly, I think the original The Day the Earth Stood Still is slow-moving and occasionally dull, with questionable dialogue and stiff acting, and only has enough story for an episode of The Twilight Zone rather than a 90-minute feature film. If Klaatu is really going to reach an opinion on human culture, he should experience a wider range. He should have to be exposed to homeless people huddling in an alley. He should attend a church service. Or a VA hospital. Or a high school football game. He should be on line at a Wal-Mart on Black Friday. He should be forced to watch an episode of The Hills. And as for Gort, he should really tear shit apart. I hope the new filmmakers let him off the leash and really let the ignorant masses learn that they shouldn’t mess with what they can’t comprehend. I can totally see how The Day the Earth Stood Still was a notable work in the time it was created, but it could certainly benefit from a rethink and a more modern sensibility. Whether Keanu Reeves and the director of the Exorcism of Emily Rose are the ones to make it work remains to be seen.

Rating: 7/10


The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

I’m a bit late getting on the Umbrella Academy bandwagon. Lots of other comics readers in the know have been touting its virtues for some time now. I actually got the trade when it was released, but it’s been sitting at the bottom of my read pile ’til this week. I’ve been working through the great podcasts the boys over at Major Spoilers have been producing and when I saw they would be looking at Umbrella Academy in their next edition (actually their July 15 edition, I am just behind the times on so many levels) I finally yanked it out and gave it a look. Man alive, am I sorry I put it off. This miniseries was a blast and a half!

It comes as no surprise that Grant Morrison provides the introduction for this collected edition; the mad genius of Morrison’s early Vertigo work was clearly a big influence on writer Gerard Way (which he readily admits in interviews). The heroes of this fractured tale include a space hero with the body of a gorilla and a sixty-year-old time traveler trapped in the body of a ten-year-old boy. Their parents are a disguised space alien and an ambulatory mannequin. Amongst the enemies they face are flying robot heads belching disintegrating death, an insane Conductor who yearns to orchestrate the apocalypse, and the Eiffel Tower itself, which comes to life and begins slaughtering its visitors. The Umbrella Academy is the most successful blending of superheroics, surrealism and silliness since Morrison’s legendary run on the Doom Patrol.

Consider the high concept behind out heroes' origins: 43 babies are simultaneously born around the world to 43 shocked mothers via immaculate conception. They either die or are abandoned. Sir Reginald Hargreeves A.K.A. the Monocle, “world-renowned scientist and wealthy entrepreneur” manages to track down 7 of these strange miracle babies, and adopts them with the intention of raising them to be superheroes.

As time progresses, the Monocle proves to be a much more effective taskmaster and field general than a dad. In fact, he doesn’t seem to have a paternal bone in his body. As a rule, he only refers to his gifted children as numbers 1-7, and he has no compunction about flat-out telling his non-powered seventh protégé Vanya that “there’s just nothing special about you.” By the time the story catches up to the present, the disillusioned Umbrella Academics are aged 30 and no longer a team: one brother is dead, another is lost in time, and the rest have gone their separate ways.

Way uses the tried and true plot device employed by many an indy drama to draw his fractured family back to the Academy: the sudden death by heart attack of the Monocle. It turns out that very few wounds have healed with the passage of time and the dysfunctional family seems to pick up their various grievances where they left off years before. Tragically, Vanya is still made to feel the outsider by her siblings, which is a turn that will have tragic consequences not too far down the road.

If there’s one criticism I could level at Umbrella Academy, it's that I hope that as Gerard Way develops as a writer he understands that there’s sometimes a fine line between righteous indignation and overbearingly whiny self-pity. To invoke comedian Artie Lange, there are a lot of “Wah” moments in this mini: “Wah! My daddy didn’t love me enough” “Wah! My adopted sister doesn’t wanna go out with me!” “Wah! My father stuck my head on the body of a gorilla” Well, okay, maybe we’ll let that last one slide. All this angsting and drama might be more palatable if the heroes were teenagers, but they’re all entering their thirties. Shouldn’t they have gained a little perspective by now? At some points I wanted to reach into the comic and grab some of these characters by the shoulders, shake em around a bit and tell them to grow a set and stop being such crybabies.

But enough grousing-- back to the unbridled heaping of praise! Let’s talk about the phenomenal Gabriel Ba, who as far can see is the absolute perfect artist for this material. His art is stylized without being overly-cartoony, incredibly imaginative and successful at combining all the bizarre elements Way feverishly worked into his script and convincingly making them co-exist in the same startling world. There’s so much great stuff to look at here, the word balloons sometimes just seem like merely a special added bonus. I took such a liking to Ba’s style, I immediately placed my order for Casanova, the espionage book he did for Image with Matt Fraction.

Like Grant Morrison before him, Gerard Way is absolutely bursting with ideas, so much so that there are throwaway lines and unresolved plot threads that could fuel future Umbrella Academy epics for years to come. There is, of course, the question of the children’s birth: how did they come to be born and what was the fate of the other 36 babies? And if they were born all over the world, why are they all Caucasian? And what the heck does a burly wrestler defeating a giant squid alien in the ring have to do with it? Also, the fact that Hargreeves was an extraterrestrial was mentioned just once in this book, and then never brought up again. Happily, although Way is presumably quite busy with his day job (from what I understand he bums around playing in a band), he is already hard at work on the sequel miniseries Umbrella Academy: Texas, in which we will very likely learn more about Number 5 and his time-tossed misadventures. Pick up the first issue (released last week) and this trade and you will be all up to speed on the most imaginative and fun superteam to come along in quite some time. And if you consider how many superhero teams there are glutting up the market, that’s really saying something.

Rating: 9.5/10


Dog Eaters #1

The opening captions of this new Dabel Brothers miniseries do an effective job of establishing the setting and mood of this post-apocalyptic adventure:

“Mankind failed in its first attempt to transcend the Petroleum Age. The Die Off killed nine out of ten people worldwide.

“One hundred and seventy five years later, civilization consists of scattered nomadic tribes, isolated casino-cities, and roving bands of predatory bandits. This is the world of the Black Dog clan.”

Dog Eaters, then, is a Road Warrior pastiche crossed with an old-school wagon trail western. Only instead of traversing the wasteland in horse-drawn covered wagons, the extended family of the Black Dogs travel in a variety of tricked-out armed and armored trucks, RVs and such. Where they come up the gasoline, engine oil and tires remains a mystery.

Lamont, leader of the clan, has an admirable endgame in mind: to settle on a gulf coast and establish a new city. In order to make that dream a reality, his intrepid convoy makes delivery runs across the tortured landscape. Naturally, there are rival clans on the prowl who are not so noble of purpose…

The main action set-piece of this issue concerns a gunfight with such a clan, a wild pack of mohawked punk bikers straight out of central casting. Fans of gunplay and carnage should enjoy the show, though having the majority of the issue dedicated to one long action scene may leave the reader feeling the story raced by too fast and they didn’t get their four dollars’ worth. Writer Malcolm Wong does manage to shoehorn some character development into the last few pages. There are a few tender moments between the Dogs’ pigtailed tween gunner Tracy and the Northern nomad she accidentally shot down during the fight. There is also an intriguing love rectangle developing as Lamont moves out of his first mate’s trailer and weds a younger girl he’s impregnated-- a girl who formerly was dating one of the young bucks in the clan.

Guillermo A. Angel’s artwork shows both manga and European influences. The character designs are interesting. Some of the violence gets rather gory at times (which is not a minus in my book, I just thought squeamish readers). There were a few cases where I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at, for example before the fight Tracy is talking to a little dog and for the life of me I can’t figure out if “Mr. Fluffy” is meant to be a real dog or a toy. (If he is real he’d better watch his back, considering the title or the comic and all) But for the most part, the art is quite good.

Dog Eaters may deserve some flak for its derivativeness and spotty pacing, but overall I have to say I enjoyed it. After one issue its hard to predict whether it will ultimately satisfy, but I liked it enough to check back in next issue to see what Wong and Angel have in store.

Oh, and by the way: I don't recommend that anyone google "dog eaters". You will get a lot of hits that have nothing to do with this comic. Trust me, don't go there.

Rating: 7.5/10