Action Lab: Danger Zone 2015
Written by Shawn Gabborin
Illustrated by Michela Da Sacco
Coloured by Yann Perrelet
Shawn has gone and impressed me beyond words here. This arc really defines this series and this issue most of all. Not only have we seen them regain bodies and give their puppets to Madam Adon but then we saw them seemingly take on a life of their own and go after their former souls in their bodies. To what end did we see them end up together again in a strange new place?
We open with Andre creating a new Jester for Hans. Elsa has fears of her own and as he leaves to deliver the new doll to the man who couldn’t live without it we see her fate. These two, Andre and Elsa have a love that transcends time, space and logic. They actually are perfect together, complete each other in ways we can hope to find in a partner. The dialogue and between them is superb and descriptive and gives off exactly what they mean to each other. It’s just that powerful.
With the death of their human bodies Andre and Elsa join with the others. It’s here that the real heart of this arc happens. Andre knows this place all too well it’s the home of the demon Sutekh. He’s been here before checking to make sure that Sutekh was dead only there was another presence there as well and one that was more powerful and the demon they destroyed. Anapa lives in this realm and he took the power of Sutekh and he scares Andre.
A lot of this is revenge of sorts after all Anapa is the son of Sutekh and for the kindness he gave them, his father’s realm and power, he tells that it doesn’t matter what vesel’s they now possess their souls are his. The revelations are amazing in how he’s managed to get them here as is the final piece of the puzzle. For all of them except one are present. Erich the son of Andre and Elsa.
His role in this story surprises me the most. He’s very much his parents child possessing the best and worst of their traits. That he’s trapped in the body of a child doesn’t mean he is one after all he joined Hitler’s Youth Army so there’s more to him than anyone could possibly realize. This man in a boy’s body took me by surprise and he can only do that once. Shawn’s passion for this series and franchise has hit a point that from here on out I expect him to be unbelievable and take me places and show me traits that I hadn’t thought they possess.
This issue does the amazing and takes that which has come before and brings it to it’s next evolution. It has raised it from it’s beginnings and has gone to a place where stories are wrapped in stories full of deceit, death and vengeance and a longing to be free of it all. The future of this series is limitless and the potential scary.
Michela’s interior artwork here matches the intensity and creativity of the writing beautifully. That she can make the puppets so menacing and fearsome and then turn around and make their humans so frail and expressive is amazing. Plus there’s Erich who regardless seems to have this depth of smarts and danger emanating from his person it’s wow.
Biggest surprise series of the year and should definitely be on everyone’s radar this is the one you’ll regret not reading.