I’m not going to start this review the way you expect. My usual style is not going to be present because I have to start with the truth. I didn’t want to read these issues. Before I continue you need some info on Enormous. Originally this story published a one-shot at Image Comics (I believe through Shadowline because they were into printing oversized issues at the time) and was just a one-shot/mini-graphic novel. To put it moderately… I didn’t like it. At least not the story. The world of Enormous is one that has been taken over by giant animals. These animals look like mutated versions of the beasts we know today, but if a mad scientist had gotten a hold of the creation batter and made them a bit messed up… and enormous. The story… was about people. And those people were really annoying. I didn’t like them or care about them and because it was a one-shot there really wasn’t enough time to do anything to make me care or like them. I didn’t even like hating the bad guy and yes there was a bad guy other than the giant monsters.
You may have noticed that I established that the world is populated by giant mutated looking animals and then proceeded to tell you that the story itself was about people. You can imagine my disappointment when the kaiju esque creatures were only given a small role in the story… the role of eye candy.
Now Enormous has rolled back around for a second time and the story is spreading out from the original tale. This comic series actually takes place on E-Day, which is when the giant creatures first attacked. The first volume of the story takes place years after and the new live-action short film picks up after that story.
Now with that all in perspective you can understand that when I say that I liked the first two issues of this new series, I don’t say that lightly. Now that doesn’t mean that the issues are perfect or that I’m running out to get a back tat with one of the kaiju plastered shoulder to shoulder, but yes I was impressed by these first two issues compared to the original series.
The main reason being, that the series has a better understanding of what it is or at least what the story is at this point. It’s not about the last-ditch efforts of humanity to survive in a land where they are no longer the top of the food chain. Right now it’s a summer blockbuster action flick with giant fucking monster. Plain and simple.
The story mainly follows the character Ellen as she desperately attempts to get to her mother during the attack. After visiting her father’s grave she and her girlfriend Megan head back into the city. From the highway they see the attack start and the military scrambling towards the city, but at this point no one knows what’s attacking. Ellen manages to make it to her mother and in monster action movie style she’s put into a fight for her life to get them both out harm’s way.
Overall the pacing of the story is good. The first issue jumps around a lot as it builds toward the monsters reveals. Even though this story is a prequel and most people are going to know or have learned that there’s another volume, it’s still important to build towards that reveal or you risk deflating the attack. Thankfully it doesn’t take too long to get there.
The dialogue was stiff at times; Ellen and Megan really don’t say anything worthwhile until they’re splitting up. Otherwise the writing was good and again I think this is due to the fact that it wasn’t trying to solely focus on the people, but the kaiju/monsters as well.
Original artist Mehdi Cheggour returns and you’ll be glad about that. Cheggour’s style has actually grown and changed from the one-shot. The coloring seemed very different, but it would be ridiculous to pretend that it’s better on one volume compared to the other and really the differences are minor. The giant beasts also seemed to have different designs, but then we also saw them at a time in which they had taken over the land. Overall Cheggour’s style is very good and his action scenes were wonderful. Not only was the action easy to follow, but again it had a summer blockbuster feel. When Ellen is jumping from objects running for her life, it’s very intense and that’s all Cheggour’s visuals.
By no means am I giving this book a free pass in the future, but it sure as hell impressed me with these two issues. If you like the original one-shot then you’re definitely going to like this new series and if you didn’t… well I was there with you. In fact I might just have to go back and re-read the first volume because of this new series. We’ll see, but for now you should check it out. It’s also worth noting that the first issue is something like forty-four pages for $3.99 which is well worth the price.
Writer: Tim Daniel Artist: Mehdi Cheggour Publisher: 215 Ink/Fifth World Price: $3.99 – First Issue, $2.99 – Second Issue