American Mythology Productions 2019
Written by Mike Wolfer
Illustrated by Roy Allan Martinez
Coloured by Periya Pillai
Lettered by Natalie Jane
Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic tale of mad science, shocking horror, and monsters galore rages to life in an all-new comic story that begins where "The Monster Men" novel ended! On a secluded, jungle island near Borneo, Professor Maxon and his daughter Virginia barely survived the onslaught of the rampaging, half-human beasts that he created in his laboratory. Now, Virginia and Townsend Harper Jr. return to the island where he originally believed that he was Maxon's mysterious creature, Number 13... But the real Number 13 is very much alive and prowls the steaming, island jungle in search of human victims! Mike Wolfer and Roy Allan Martinez, the team who brought you Eternal Thirst of Dracula, combine their talents once again to create an unparalleled excursion into terror, officially endorsed by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. as the sequel to the classic horror novel! This special, prelude one-shot leads directly into the upcoming The Monster Men: Heart of Wrath mini-series.
Let me tell you what I love about this. Mike cares for and totally appreciates the world these characters live in and it shows in the way that the story is being told. It has this novel approach to it, meaning it's told more like a prose novel than a comic book, as if the book were an adaptation of a novel. That is how it reads and utterly fantastic to experience this. There is another added bonus here and that's if you haven't the Burroughs novels that's okay because the way that this is being told also makes it completely new reader friendly. Take that chance and pick this up and see the kind of elevated storytelling that we find at American Mythology.
I am loving the way that this story is being told. The narration and how that relates to what we see and which leads to meeting the narrator is incredibly interesting and and well told. Whom he is speaking to or of remains a bit of a mystery but we do learn that they are more than familiar with the world of the weird that Burroughs wrote about. As we meet the cast of characters for the first time, in this book, it has this strange effect. We've been pretty much told what they are going to do and why and seeing this trio arriving at their destination leaves that puts this feeling in your gut that something bad is about to go down.
Roy Allan is an amazing talented illustrator and his linework that we see and how he is able to manipulate the varying weights bring out this attention to detail is something to see. When you look at some of the panels and the folks within I see an influences of artists that are so eerie and yet gorgeous. The composition inside the panels and how the backgrounds are utilised to help show us depth perception, scale and brings us a sense of size and scope to the book. Every page we see here is so beautifully done and the colouring included to make what we see just as much a visual journey as it is a written one. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a sensational eye for storytelling. The colour work is exquisite to behold. Periya is able to create that eerie mood where you feel that the jungle is quiet, too quiet. The way we see the various hues and tones within colours to create the shading, highlights and shadows is stupendous to see on the page.
This story just makes me want to see and read so much more. The writing here is mindbogglingly good and it takes into this world as if we were a part of it, that we're there with Bulan as they experience this island and face their personal demons. Not to mention what else may be living on this island in the 13 months they've been gone. On a side note seeing that compound and how it's set up I would've moved in when they left. Talk about the ideal place to get away from the madness of the world around us.
American Mythology is home to some unique and fantastic stories that you really ought to be reading.