Review: Chimera Brigade - Vol. 1

Chimera Brigade has great art and a strong concept. It is World War II and various super powered people are helping and hindering the great powers. There are super heroes, mad scientists, mechanized power suits, and even a cat person. Everything about the last sentence interests me when thrown together to see how it works. Yet...the actual execution didn't quite deliver. This first volume is divided into two sections, a prologue, and then chapter one. In the prologue a lot of cool looking characters are shown in a room as a woman in a mechanized power suit observes and also is infiltrating the meeting. We see a lot of the various denizens of the world, including some that are not allowed to be named, like a 1930's Superman (who is shown briefly flying), Doc Savage, and the Shadow. But...nothing happens in this intro, we just see cool looking character designs, and the villain (maybe?) gives a big speech. It is a bit disheartening, I kept waiting for the proverbial pin to drop, and it never did.

Chimera Brigade coverWe then eventually move into the actual story, and well, there is an amazing action sequence. A guy with the ability to move into and through solid objects is trying to save someone from an impossible prison. The sequence is beautifully drawn, the pacing is tense, the action is well done, and the entire feeling is pure pulp, even when the inevitable hitches start to present themselves. But that is the only part of the story that excited me, that made me want to know more.

We find out there use to be a group of heroes called the Chimera Brigade, super powered individuals fighting the good fight. Madame Currie was involved and is actually a character in the story, as is her daughter. And they aren't in effect anymore, but maybe they should be again? A lot of ideas and hints were tossed out, but not much was done with them. It feels like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, just somehow even slower and just as randomly vague.

But, the art is wonderful. The character design is grandiose as the architecture, and the one real action scene we get is one of the best I've seen in a comic in a while. If it was more focused I would recommend this book to everyone I know. With the scope being so all over the place, I recommend it only to the most particular Alan Moore fan, who loves League and wants something with a similar slant but a different voice.

There feels like there is promise here. Or maybe the little bits I like are just tricking me. How can a book that starts with people fitting into mechanized suits to infiltrate a meeting with supermen and mad scientists turn bad? It just can't be terrible...right?

Score: 3/5

Writers: Serge Lehman and Fabrice Colin Artist: Gess Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $9.99 Release Date: 10/29/14 Format: Hardcover; Print/Digital