Action Lab Danger Zone 2017
Created & Written by Jason Sterr
Illustrated by Daniel Maine
Coloured by Francesca Zambon
Lettered & Designed by Greg Sorkin
Marcus Greenberg has a very particular set of skills. As a former Navy S.E.A.L., he does the dirty work of our nation’s superheroes, keeping his clients out of the papers and off of death row. With the help of his assistant Russell, a reformed shape-shifting supervillain, Greenberg is the go-to guy for making super-sins disappear. He is: The Consultant.
Well now this is interesting to say the least. I mean the good guys aren’t so good and the bad guys aren’t so bad but how is it in a world where superheroes have “accidents” they seem to go unnoticed? That’s where Marcus comes in and I have to say this totally blew me away. While not exactly an uncommon theme to do takes on the classics (the JLA in it’s original-ish line-up) while not making outright evil they protect the planet from threats sure but what happens when they are the threat? At least on occasion that is.
It’s a great premise and the way we are introduced to this is utterly fantastic! Seeing Marcus in action is frightening and sets the stage for this book beautifully. The opening is solid, beyond interesting and goes straight into downright scary. I mean the depth a man is capable of going to for the almighty dollar as his motivation well even for an ex-Navy SEAL is sick. That Jason is able to convey so much about a man and his associate, see sidekick, in that amount of time was stupendous.
So when we meet the teams strongest member it’s a rare treat and while this is Danger Zone don’t be afraid to end up showing us the front after that nice butt shot! Still the no-nonsense approach to what we see then is again the black side of being a superhero I suppose or it’s just that unthinking and all too common oops I did it again thing where it can be covered up and swept under the radar mentality. Obviously Spartan wasn’t raised on Earth by loving caring parents to teach him that there are consequences to his actions. Then again why worry about consequences when you’ve got Marcus on your payroll? Not going to lie part of me was fascinated at the behaviour we see while an equal part was mortified. This is what Jason does with this story though.
Daniel does this wonderful job bringing this to life. His use of page layouts through angles and perspective show a solid cinematic eye for storytelling. That he has a great working knowledge of the human anatomy is delightful and yeah that butt shot was amazing to see with the back and shoulders wow. The creativity and imagination in creating these uniforms they wear is great and while reminiscent of those they are stolen from they are unique enough to set them apart. Also the utilisation of backgrounds here is extremely nice to see as they help expand the story, characterisation along with the essence and feel of it all.
I have to say that the way Jason expands the story so that all things point back to Marcus regardless of who is in the story at that particular moment well it’s a sheer delight. There are multiple angles in play story wise and how the book is structured with the ebb & flow of the revelations and plot lines well it works on every level. While these aren’t your parents or heck even your kids superheroes they are the ones we kind of want to see.
How do you take down a team of superheroes who haven’t been held accountable for their actions? You go after the man who cleans up their messes and that man Is Marcus. Former Navy SEAL and a tactical genius who’s as morally bankrupt as he is adept at what he does. Good luck to anyone getting in his way.