We open this issue in stunning black and white with a shadowy monster munching down on a scientist in the labs at Biogen. Outside the building, a strange figure watches. Elite bodyguard Alan Dracon gets called in for the job of protecting the new scientists who are there to continue the work of the masticated Dr. Hans. At this point readers learn of Dracon’s past through some interesting explication. From there the story shifts to Koganeshima Island, home of the book’s antagonist. This elderly Yakuza boss sports a hyper cephalic cranium with countless tubes and wires running from his noggin.
After a run-in with the creature that killed Dr. Hans, Alan and his new guarded body, Dr. Oni Demaite, strike a new friendship in an intimate way. From there, the mystery of Dr. Hans death deepens as Alan realizes that there’s more to this story than a simple out-of-control lab monster coming up for some revenge.
Martino’s use of black and white proves to be a strength for this book. The shadowing and details come off as more crisp and refined in the two-color medium. For example, the image of the monster’s teeth and gums, pictured in the third panel of the first page, contains enough vivid detail to eliminate the need for any coloring. In addition, the cityscape in the bottom panel of page six spreads in the frame with so many intricate nuances that the inclusion of any additional colors would almost drown out the fine pencil work. I also liked how the monster looked somewhat similar to Marvel’s Fin-Fang-Foom.
As far as the story is concerned, Martino gives us a great dose of gory action right at the get-go. Readers then get a story that cleverly unfolds around Dracon, a workingman hero who gives off the vibe of a Harry Canyon from 1981’s Heavy Metal. While some elements are left a little cloudy, for example, the true nature of Dracon’s powers and the purpose of his armor, there’s a strong possibility that those items will be explained in further issues. Nevertheless, the story’s mystery and entertaining characters do so much to make the book’s plot move at a balanced pace.
With outstanding pencil work and a hell of an entertaining story, Alan Dracon is the fun, new must-read book that reminds us how good comic books can be.
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Alan Dracon #1 Writer/Artist: Stefano Martino Adapted by: El Torres Publisher: Amigo Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/27/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital