As I mentioned on Friday, a whole bunch of first issues landed on Wednesday, making it difficult to choose what to feature this week. So I thought I’d do a second Chain Reactions to focus on something that may be a little more under-the-radar than the new Deadpool comic–Storm Dogs #1 by David Hine, Doug Braithwaite and Ulises Arreola.
The “science-fiction crime thriller” shows what happens when “a uniquely skilled team arrives on a frontier planet to investigate a series of bizarre and violent deaths. Forced to rely on primitive technology, they soon learn what it means to be aliens in a hostile environment. If they are to unravel the mysteries of Amaranth they will also have to learn what it is to be human.” At least according to the solicitation text.
So what did folks think of it? Here’s a few thoughts from around the web:
Benjamin Bailey, IGN: “Science-fiction is having a good run in comic books lately. There’s lots of really great titles out there that range from violent to bizarre to epic. Enter Storm Dogs, a cool book that seems to be setting up some really great stuff. The story revolves around a group CSI agents of sorts, that are investigating a series of murders on a distant planet. Oh, and the rain on said planet will melt your face off. Mix in some cool alien races a few giant monsters and you have the makings of a one very awesome science-fiction comic book.”
Michelle White, Multiversity Comics: “Central concept aside, some pains have been taken here to ensure that all the characters come across immediately and memorably. The team that will be investigating the recent series of murders are a diverse group, and by the end of the issue we have a decent handle on who they are and what baggage they’re carrying. Hine gets the latter across very efficiently by having the characters say farewell to their loved ones via ‘the Weave’ before their mission actually begins and the prime directive requires them to turn it off; most are leaving something behind when they undertake this mission, and it’s not exactly easy for them to have to sever the connection. Meanwhile, the most compelling among the characters so far may be Siam, the ‘muscle’ of the mission, with her best moment involving no words at all: lawman Deputy Bronson gives her the stink eye, and she gives one right back.”
Leo Johnson, Stash My Comics: “David Hine is doing a wonderful job of writing in this first issue, I feel. Within the thirty or so pages, we learn not only of the characters, but something of who they really are. We learn of their lovers, their desires, their fears, and much more. While not always obvious, there is a lot of characterization going on in these pages. Hine builds a world quickly and efficiently and grounds it well with his characters. I look forward to much more development to come in the next issues.”
Andy Liegl, Comic Book Resources: “Braithwaite’s artwork steals the show as he creates unique looking fauna native to Amaranth and captures appropriate facial expressions throughout the story. His action and movement is lively and real — especially during the aforementioned scene, where the miners are dismembered by a pack of creatures during a savage storm. He provides a terrifying perspective when a miner flees from the vehicle and observes the destruction of his co-workers. Braithwaite adds to the drama with his attention to the environment, adding violent, pounding rain.”
Dustin Cabeal, Comic Bastards: “I don’t really understand why this issue is as bad as it is. The pacing is choppy if there really is an intentional pacing to the story to begin with. The entire opening was beyond dull and served one purpose: put ‘Red Shirts’ in danger. There are interesting aspects of the story, but there is little to no explanation offered about the world. I’m not against not explaining every little detail in the first issue, but we’re introduced to The Union who may or may not represent the galaxy’s law enforcement or they could just be what the police unit is called. We’re introduced to the settlers of the planet and basically told that they’re not very advanced and yet never given the history of how they got there and why they’re advancement stopped. Lastly, we’re introduced to the natives who look like every other animal on the planet with the exception of walking on their hind feet.”
Andy Hunsaker, CraveOnline: It’s a pretty interesting set up, some cool sci-fi staples cobbled together – along with Star Wars, there looks to be some Avatar elements settling in, definitely some Alien, a little homage to The Right Stuff, all with a crime procedural storyline woven throughout. Braithwaite’s art is fantastic when it comes to most everything on Amaranth from environments to animals, but suffers a little with the actual humans. He’s good with differentiating faces, which I very much appreciate, but they do feel a little too static at times. But then, all is forgiven when Braithwaite goes all-out with face-melting madness.”