American Gothic Press 2016
Written by Jeremy Robinson & Kane Gilmour
Illustrated by Jeff Zornow
Lettered by Marshal Dillon
Marooned off the shore of a mysterious island, Mark Hawkins and the crew of the Magellan have set out to find their missing crew members. But if they thought flying snakes were bad, well, they're about to be introduced to Island 731's true terrors: crocodiles with tentacles, seagulls with teeth, and a strange creation called Kaiju who seems to possess marginal intelligence... along with the body of a gorilla, the arms of a polar bear, and the sharp spines of a porcupine.
Alright this is so incredibly fun to me. It has all these elements that range from classic literature like the Island of Dr. Moreau to a made for SyFy movie where everything seems to be break the laws of physics and nature in ways that jumpstart the imagination. So far while they’ve been looking for their missing crewmates we are being treated to seeing creatures that have never and should never exist in real life. In so many ways this is what it’s all about the creativity and imagination and the ability to be taken somewhere reality doesn’t exist as we know it.
I’m really enjoying the characterisation we’re getting on Mark here. While he’s doing his heroic thing to save Bray we get a glimpse into his past. Being raised on an Utu Reservation and having the discipline that comes along with that well it’s invaluable when it comes to doing what he does here. Somewhat rash and definitely dangerous he’s a complete man of action and it’s nice to see him doing what he does for those he works with. It’s part of his character that he will do what’s necessary to save a life of a friend.
Jeff’s interiors here are magnificent. I love that we get to see him unleash his creativity and imagination in bringing these creatures to life. It’s one thing to say we’ve created a chimera beast it’s another thing to be able to bring it to life so well. That he can make them looks so natural and real is a tribute to his talent. Plus his eye for storytelling through the page layouts and their angles, perspective and use of backgrounds bring us into this story beautifully.
I think that this issue has a great blend of revelations, storytelling and action woven throughout. While we aren’t sure who has been using this place to create these Chimera creatures it’s obviously clear that this place is still active and in use. So that the Mark and his crew have to fight the Island’s natural defenses in the creatures they are also being watched by whomever is responsible for creating them. Unless that person has already died but then where’s the fun that?
Forget the Land that Time Forgot or the Island of Dr. Moreau this is face of current modern science fiction fantasy. This has an excellent cast of characters and a lot of unknowns at play that create this tension and action packed thriller.