Action Lab Danger Zone 2018
Written by Erica Schultz
Illustrated by Dave Acosta
Coloured by Andrew Covalt
Colour Assists by Liana Kangas & James Savage
Lettered by Cardinal Rae
With the body count growing, Callum and Aisha’s road trip take them to the location on the cipher. They have a plan, but Callum’s health may sideline him, leaving it up to Aisha to put the pieces together and get the evidence to arrest the Crypto-Killer. Meanwhile, Callum’s evidence tampering in the original case come to bite those still in his FBI unit back home. And Brian has a fan who’s interested in more than just his paintings. The past and present are resolved in the conclusion of Twelve Devils Dancing.
This has been an utterly amazing story. This is the kind of book that leaves an impression on the reader the kind that makes you want to see more. We have been introduced to a lot with these two issues and there is always room to go back and see more of Callum’s life and his career or youth before heading into the army. Heck even in the army now a gay man like him well I personally would love to see whatever it is that Erica came up with when creating him for this book. He can be a beacon of hope and acceptance in ways that were never imagined. The best part of it is that he’s flawed like everyone else and being human like that and us getting to see it only makes our connection with him that much stronger.
I am a huge fan of the way that this has been structured. Using chapters like a novel allows Erica to move around and place the characters where they need to be without wasting space with unnecessary panels for explanation. There are few things in life more powerful than what happens in our formative years. That kiss which Callum and Brian shared could have blossomed into something amazing or it could have ended right there but thanks to the environment in which it happened and what we see happening as a result well damn. The Reverend is another character that incites anger and rage in me as a reader but he’s also one who is based on real life people that unfortunately exist. As such and thanks to the level of characterisation his impact is immeasurable. Plus there is always that sneak suspicion that he never died in the fire.
I have been a fan of Dave’s since Chastity and I've followed him ever since. His work here is not only inspired but it is the best I have seen him do. The attention to detail that he uses and how he’s able to manipulate the varying weights in the linework to create such magnificent subtle detail is awe inspiring. I mean the flashbacks and the woods and the way we see trees or the faces and facial expressions, which are where you can take the measure of an artist, are stunning to see. The interiors add an extra dimension of characterisation and add to this the colouring, the use of shading and colour gradation with light sources being consistent this is beyond any kind of expectation one might have.
Callum, Aisha and pretty much everyone else we meet get some seriously good characterisation here. Brian is the lone exception and I would have like to know more about him, how he felt when Callum kissed him for example. As well as confirmation that the women he used in his paintings were due to the fact his mother didn’t protect him like a mother should. We get that idea but more depth to that would have been nice. The ending to this one will take your breath away and it will leave you haunted and wanting.
This is one of the most impressive and strong books that I have had the pleasure to read this year and should definitely be up for limited series of the year.