After reading the zero issue to this series I really had no idea what was going on, but one thing was clear… it was the Incredible Hulk. That is to say that the concept seemed very much inspired by Hulk, which was a terrible impression to give someone. The first issue paints a very different story, be it not completely different but close enough. The issue pulls the typical “start in the present, go to the past and work forward” storytelling that is common in movies and comics. It’s not bad to start that way; it’s just been done a hundred times so it’s not very interesting. We’re shown a first person perspective as our mystery man awakens from a table dazed and confused. Then we jump to the past as Richard is lying on his wife’s lap enjoying her company. You can tell that they are very much in love as they discuss what they must do that day. Richard is dodging everything saying he’d rather lay with her and listen to her heartbeat, but his wife Gabriella bribes him with bacon so that she can prepare for her grant meeting later that day.
After a flashy sale pitch from the CEO from Trinion, Richard and Gabriella take the money and begin working on a cure to the disease that’s swept the country. They begin their research, but hit roadblock after roadblock… until finally a breakthrough from Richard. Meanwhile the border of the country has been blocked off at Virginia and several people left outside are seeking their chance to enter. Trinion protects the boarders and even though they have medical scanners, they are refusing anyone sick or healthy from entering the country. The people are lead be a giant of a man who’s ready to force his way in if he has to, that is until Trionion’s CEO sics his enforcer on the crowd. He cuts the leader in two and then gathers up his body.
Parts of the story haven’t been spelled out, but they’re pretty obvious as to what’s happening. The story is one part Incredible Hulk and one part Frankenstein. The big man that’s cut down becomes Richard and Gabriella’s test subject. Then something goes wrong and Richard, who is sick, gets his mind transferred into the big man’s body which is able to cure itself. Even though I was able to figure that out already the journey that the story is on is interesting. Writer and creator Mark Roslan has done a good job of laying the ground work with this issue and developing characters that are interesting that can be developed further as the story goes on.
I don’t know what’s with Aspen finding artists named Micah that can draw like nobody’s business, but they’ve done it again. This time it’s Micah Kaneshiro and his style is very clean and realistic looking. The opening sequence in first-person is interesting to look at and doesn’t suffer from awkward posing. It’s very photo realistic and great to experience on the page. Kaneshiro’s style goes beyond just his pencils as he also colors his own work. His coloring really brings the characters to life and honestly makes them look real. His style reminds me a lot of Phil Noto’s, but much more realistic.
I was really put off by the zero issue of this series, but I was curious enough to give it another shot and I’m glad I did. You can tell the influences in the story, but it’s a good thing as it gives you something familiar to associate it with rather than just borrowing heavily as other books do. So far the story is good and developing into something very interesting and the art, oh the art is fantastic and pushes everything to the next level.
Writer: Mark Roslan
Artist: Micah Kaneshiro
Publisher: Aspen Comics