Action Lab Entertainment 2016
Written by Dino Caruso
Illustrated by Chad Cicconi
Coloured by Crimzon Studio
Lettered by Adam Wollet
Well i’m going to give it up to Dino for this issue because honestly I hadn’t seen this coming at all! The events that transpire this issue almost left me reeling as they continued to unfold before our eyes. We see it in some of the colonists among whom Charlotte is the most vocal about it. They however aren’t privy to the information that Dino gives us, which coincidentally doesn’t exactly ease the blow or make sense until the very end.
I’m actually really impressed with how this whole issue plays out. It’s smartly done and the fact that it leaves the reader guessing at possible scenarios on their own for a bit, thus engaging them more fully in the story, doesn’t hurt matters. I mean at first I really just thought that perhaps Wardell finally had just given up and felt his age. His oldest friend dead, murdered and it just looks and feels like the fight up and left him. Even amid Jasper thinking he’s in charge as we clearly see he isn’t it feels like he’s just finally admitted defeat to his much younger opponents. When the truth is something we aren't expecting and it all becomes clear it's just that much impressive what Dino manages to accomplish here.
That isn’t the only transition of power we’re seeing this issue. The locals themselves are shown having a change in their ruling structure as well. I guess it’s out with old in with the new for all the beings on this planet. The only problem with all this transference of power is that both sides don’t want the other around. While the humans are the welcomed guests it’s human greed that motivates them and the need to conquer, rule and subjugate that we see while the locals want the aliens off their planet once and for all.
The interiors here are wonderfully done by Chad and Crimzon Studio. The alien landscape, the planet natural populace and that beautiful tree help bring awe and wonder to this. The humans and their city keep us grounded in what we know and what the future could be like. The use of page layouts through their angles, perspective and even backgrounds keep the flow of the story moving along nicely.
With what we see and learn here there’s no doubt that a massive confrontation is coming and one that will change life on this planet forever. The real question is can it be avoided and if not then what happens when both sides lose? For in a war between them there can no winners only the decimated ranks of the survivors. It’s a neat little message wrapped up in an action packed thrilling story. I like that Dino can use the medium to show what is proper behaviour and what isn’t in regards to getting along and working with those different than you are.
Action Lab has really taken it’s place as THE home for the best all-ages books on the market today. Smart, well crafted while entertaining and teaching at the same time these are the things that kids notice subconsciously and act on as they get older and for adults it’s a great reminder of how we should be acting.