Action Lab Danger Zone 2017
Written, Lettered & Designed by Brendan Cahill
Illustrated by Jason Federhenn
Coloured by Josh Burcham
Edwina’s attempt to control Edward’s legacy leaves Violet with a difficult decision to make. But even with the help of some unlikely allies, can she find the strength to do the right thing—or even figure out what the right thing is?
This might be the last issue of the arc but I must say it’s also the best one. The opening alone is worth it’s weight in gold. Sometimes in life when we see siblings having a heart to heart discussion they are older, wiser and more mature and contemplating on their pasts. So that they are this young and having so much insight into what they are going through it was amazing to see. Brendan really pulls out all the stops and shows his writing ability to it’s fullest and just when I think I can’t be impressed any further he does something like this.
I have been thoroughly impressed with the way the story has been structured as the whole ebb & flow of information being presented is superbly done. This story has not only been fun but it’s got a little enlightenment and a whole personal growth going on here as Violet ends up going through one life’s most difficult things in a really short amount of time. In doing so you’d think it was rushed or left you feeling out of sorts with that but in reality it’s paced perfectly. The way three issues was just enough to get the story told when reasonably it could’ve been stretched to four well it’d refreshing to see that.
The characterisation here is phenomenal and not just Violet’s. Her grandmother, little brother heck even her parents and her cousin all of them that we see they are fleshed out as people extremely well. Like them, hate them or be indifferent to them it doesn’t matter you will have some kind of emotional response to them and on some level relate to them being in your own familial unit.
Jason and Josh do some incredibly fine work here. I really like the way the characters feel, there is an authenticity to them that even through this all-ages guise that is easy to appreciate. The use of page layouts so how we see the angles and perspective in the panels is extremely well done. While I always want to see more backgrounds the work here is done for a reason and it works extremely well. The whole mood, tone and feel they set for this book is amazingly well done and they carried it through beautifully.
I like how the book ends as Violet has to make some hard choices that she wouldn’t have assumed she’d have to make quite yet and does so with a grace and dignity beyond her years. How she comes to her conclusions, decisions and makes them happen is something I don’t think many people would be able to come to on their own. Also it’s very nice to see that the way things are left that there is the open possibility for another story down the pike. It may or may not happen but in the eyes of the reader it’s something to speculate and that means you’ve got the readers attention, imagination and curiosity aroused.
It is books like this one that is exactly why you shouldn’t be sleeping or ignoring titles from smaller press companies. There is an excellent story being told here and along with some solid interiors and it makes you fan of it’s creators if you weren’t one already.