It’s always nice to receive mail. Especially unexpected mail.
And one of the perks is that sometimes, lovely people all over the world will send me things in the hopes that I’ll say something about them (hopefully nice) here. And so, we come to ‘The Hunter’.
‘The Hunter’ is a prestige-format comic from Dare Comics. It retails at $5.95 US and at first glance, is pretty well presented. The cover art is simple, but striking, reminding me a bit of Ken Steacy’s work. Presentation is crisp, clear and uncluttered.
The story begins with a series of co-ordinated terrorist attacks on the US, resulting in the appearance of a number of superhumans. One of the things I like about this series is that characters, when talking to other characters who know what’s going on, don’t feel the need to give the reader any unnecessary exposition. I like the fact that, at the end of issue 1, there’s still a feeling of mystery there about who these people are and what precisely they’re doing. Which is nice.
The scripting is fairly tight and well-paced, and the art is simple and effective, with some nice, clear linework and equally clear storytelling. The colouring also deserves major kudos, and ads a real vibrancy to the artwork.
Unfortunately, the story is not without its weaknesses. The figure work can be a bit stilted at times, and characters are frequently staring full into the camera… this may be a bit nitpicky, but I found it a little jarring.
Some elements of the writing were a little ‘off’ too. It’s obvious the writer is going for a Tom Clancy-esque technothriller vibe here, but the verisimilitude is a bit ‘off’. The characterisation was pretty thin, and everyone seemed to be acting like archetypal versions of their character. The president is strong, good mister president-man, our hero is mister hero man, the villain is mister villain man. Add that to some of the scenes (the arms deal, for instance) having dialogue so cliched that it could’ve come straight from a Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme film.
According to their website (www.darecomics.com), writer Adam Hamdy is a screenwriter (IMDB has three films listed), so I don’t know what background (if any), I don’t know anything about artist David Golding, but if this is their first published comics work, it’s pretty sharp. Slick, professional, well-presented and pretty tight.
There are some teething problems, but seriously, if this is the first offering, it’s pretty darned good. It’s not the most original thing I’ve ever seen, but if you like your comics as straight-up, two-fisted action, you could do a hell of a lot worse. I think how well it’ll do overall will be reflected in how well the creators deal with the mystery elements.
If the ‘sleeper’ thing is resolved well, then I think we’re cooking with gas. If not, then it could fizzle. Keep me interested.
Just as an aside, I think it could’ve worked really well in a manga style. There’s something about it that reminds me of Japanese ‘not quite superhero’ stuff like Guyver or Cyborg 009 that has all the superhero tropes but isn’t wholly there.