Action Lab Danger Zone 2017
Written & Lettered by Dave Dwonch
Illustrated by Arturo Mesa
Coloured by Geraldo Filho
Anthony Zane, a seemingly normal teenage boy has done the impossible. He’s killed a member of the Infinite Seven, a league of assassins employed by a secret world government. Now he must prove up to the task of replacing the assassin he’s killed, or face death at their hands…
There’s something special about this and it all comes from the way that Dave tells this story. I mean Anthony is not what you’d call a confident young man by any stretch of the imagination and as all too familiar to today’s world is very insular and introverted. So that he asked a girl out and manages to kill a guy wanting to kill him has literally thrown his world into that upside down topsy turvy place and Dave manages to bring that to life exceptionally well. The characterisation here is strong, concise and on point so we know who these characters are and what they are about.
I like the progression of this issue a lot because while it seemed that Anthony might slide back into his shell what we get instead shows promise. I like the idea that once you get over the initial shock you can use that which makes you special, in this case computers, computer games and hacking, to overcome your fears and change how you are perceived. While Anthony might not be a well respected person among this group of assassins that doesn’t mean he should roll over and play dead.
The depiction of the members of the group increases my desire to see more of them. I like that they see Anthony and can’t understand how he’s replacing someone and that they have this arrogance that comes with their name and title that perhaps they should be reminded that once upon a time they were in his shoes too.
The interior artwork here is fun too. I like the stylised work that we see and at times during his interrogation to seeing him in the Octagon it really has these moments that shine. The use of page layouts with the angles and perspective are nicely utilised. Personally i’d like to see more backgrounds in use but that’s me I like how they help flesh out the moments in a story. Anthony being young is well done here too and that he’s much different than his new compatriots is well demonstrated.
From concept to execution this book has all that it takes to be high on your list of books to be reading. Aside from the normal journey of self-discovery and overcoming any obstacle in your path there’s also making lemonade out of lemons on the table here. This has the right amount of fun, whimsy and sheer abject terror of having to deal with something seemingly outside of your purview and it all works together exceptionally well.