Every day this month I’ll be reviewing a different independent comic book, based on submissions from the creators of the comic books themselves.
The month continues with Six: The Rebirth, by Tan Eng Huat and Chin Sau Lim.
Like Major Zombie, a book I reviewed a few days ago, Six: The Rebirth is a product of Gilamon Comics. Gilamon Comics is a Malaysian independent comic book company founded by a trio of comic book artists: Lefty, Michael Chuah, and Chi Sau Lim. Recently, Tan Eng Huat joined up with them.
For American audiences, the most famous member of the group if Tan Eng Huat, who has drawn a number of series for Marvel and DC. He is an excellent artist, and in both books (which are magazine size and contain two stories), they smartly take advantage of their famed member of the group and have him draw the lead story.
Six is about a futuristic world where a large percentage of the populace is coming down with a mysterious, incurable disease. They are then placed into suspended animation/hibernation. When this happens, they effectively are re-incarnated as “mechas,” giant robots driven by the subconscious of the person within hibernation.
These two tales are about the Mecha Police, the group of humans who, well, police the mechas.
One of the major downsides of the book is that the exposition really didn’t work quite as well as Major Zombie, in that I really wasn’t quite sure what the deal was in the comic (the text on the back cover gave me much of the information about what was going on in the comic). To wit, while it is clear that the Mechas are connected to the people within the hibernation, it is unclear just HOW they’re connected. Is it an Avatar thing, where your mind just goes into a Mecha? Or is it like Vision from the Avengers, where your brain patterns just influence the Mecha, but you do not actively control it?
In any event, once you get into the stories themselves, they’re engaging romps. Chin Sau Lim creates some interesting personalities for the police (and whoever designed their outfits – good stuff, very cool looking squad uniforms, as you can see on the cover). Also, as noted, Tan Eng Huat is an excellent artist, so he draws a very compelling action drama. Over-the-top action but grounded in human emotion. A Mecha goes nuts after the woman that the Mecha is based on also goes nuts (something about babies), so it begins to attack a hospital. The police show up and have to distract her while the other cops try to hunt down which person this particular Mecha was based on. It was a fast-paced race to the “finish,” and it was quite tense and exciting.
The second story, written and drawn by Chin Sau Lim, was a little more laid back. Chin Sau Lim is a fine artist, as well, and his moodier artwork worked well for a tale of revenge, just taken perhaps in the “after-life.”
I wonder if this is how future stories are set to be told using this universe, or if this is just a sort of introduction, while future stories will take a broader view of the situation.
Either way, this is an entertaining comic with good artwork and an interesting premise.