I’m a total sucker for anything doing with The Island of Dr. Moreau. I even like the terrible Val Kilmer film version. There is just something about the idea that is amazing to me. There are many layers to the story, but I think it’s how scary it is to think that someone created anamorphic animals that still maintain their animal nature to an extent. Again there are many layers to the story, but that one has always stuck out to me. It’s like giving a great white shark legs and the ability to breathe air and not expecting chaos. Coming in on the second issue you’re probably wondering what this story is about; well I may review the first issue as well, but for now I can tell you that it’s set in WWII and the American’s have intercepted materials showing that the Nazi’s are continuing the research of the real Dr. Moreau… Meraux.
In this issue we find a small team of spies heading to the island to see what the Nazi’s are up to and to discover how far along they’ve come to continuing Meraux’s research. For most of them though, they’re there just to see if it’s real or not. They’re guide is a retired mercenary by the name of Prentiss. He’s has a history with the island and we can leave it at that.
On the island we see how close the Nazi’s have come as a pack of man-dogs hunt down a man and each his body leaving his head, hands and feet. I’m pretty sure they’re dogs since we learn that’s the only animal they brought with them, but they also look a bit gorilla-ish. The original manimals look on in the woods as these new manimals break the first rule, which is not to kill other men.
I’m hooked on this story in a big way. I tried like hell not to spoil it all for you and you’ll have to see for yourself if I was successful or not. The writing is great and the plot has just the right pacing for the story. There’s actually a third story element that I left out, but when you read it you’ll see why and how it fits in with the rest of the story. There isn’t a ton of dialogue as most of it is small bits of conversations between the large body of characters, but all of it is interesting and moves the story along.
When you tackle The Island of Dr. Moreau or in this case something that’s tied into the material the visuals play an important role. The manimals (I know they’re not called that, but it’s fun to type) need to appear human esque, but also scary. I’m happy to tell you that they are very frightening in this series and I expect greater things as the series continues. The only other thing I want to say about that art is that world looks real and the visuals are very clean. There are a lot of great transitions between segments so keep an eye out for that. I really do want to say more about the story, but I think that will spoil aspects of the story so I’ll leave it to you to discover how strong the visual storytelling is.
For ninety-nine cents you can go wrong on this series. I was very glad to have two issues to read back to back so pick up both issues. This may seem like The Island of Dr. Moreau plus Nazi’s, but trust me there’s more meat on the bone than that. I really enjoyed this series and if I had to rank all of Monkey Brain’s titles on a scale, this one would score high.
Writer: David F. Walker Artist: Carl Sciacchitano Publisher: Monkey Brain Comics Price: $.99 Release Date: 12/11/13