I’m still a sucker for this series. I know that Nazi’s are one of the most played out villains in all of entertainment, but it’s because they’re an evil bunch. There is just something about teaming Nazi’s with The Island of Dr. Moreau that is crazy evil and this issue capitalizes on that in a big way. After a great opening two pages that reveals some of Moreau’s mindset in turning animals into people, we’re shown our captured monkey man in a cage about to fight the Dobermen (play on Doberman). They fight until our head Nazi tells them to stop. He used the exercise to not only weaken the monkey man, but to see which of the creations where strong. He shoots one in the head instantly because of its “weakness” and leaves the remaining one to as he puts it, “clean up the mess”. It’s a powerful scene as this Doberman stands above his pack. Is he gaining morality?
Meanwhile our expedition arrives on the island and breaks apart into two teams. They’re heading to separate locations and one of the U.S. operatives still doesn’t believe in the animal men. He is sure to shit his pants when he sees them in real life. We also learn why Prentiss came back to the island and it’s a pretty damn good reason.
It’s kind of a strange issue because in a way not very much happens in terms of the overall plot. We’re kind of left desperately waiting for the two groups of human characters to meet finally and see what will happen with the animal men at the same time. Sure writer David Walker could pull the trigger and get the story there, but instead he’s building up to it. Now that could be a dangerous thing to do because too much anticipation can suffocate the story, but Walker is building everything is steps. It also helps that he reveals or includes cool moments in each issue. The two page opener is a great example. It’s short, but full of information. The fight between Moreau’s animals and the Nazi’s dogs is another fantastic scene and I can’t even tell you about the last page. It’s too damn good.
There’s only fifteen pages of story and if this was any other comic book company you’d be getting ripped off. Not with Monkey Brian though. I love their format because the creators actually use every bit of the page count to benefit and move the story forward. That’s what Walker does. There’s fifteen pages, but it reads like thirty and that doesn’t mean that he’s packing each page with character exposition either. The fact is I had to count the pages because my honest guess would have been at least twenty pages, but it’s just that rich of a story.
The art fools me. In my opinion we’re following three different time lines. I could end up being wrong, but I think Prentiss and his crew will be arriving after the Nazi’s are already wiped out by their animal men. The art fools me because it intentionally keeps the lighting for scenes the same, but then logic kicks and says “that can’t be.” It’s a great back and forth and even if I end up wrong at least the art kept me thinking. Carl Sciacchtano is a great fit for this story and his animal men are just entertaining to look at. I would love to see his sketches of different animal men for sure and maybe they’ll release an issue of just that (pretty please).
The series may be on the third issue, but the other brilliant thing about Monkey Brain’s platform is that you can catch up at any time and for a fraction of the cost of a print comic. For three bucks you’re getting twice the content of a single issue and trust me, this story is worth it. I might be a weirdo for really like The Island of Dr. Moreau stuff, but even if you just like good stories it’s worth the purchase.
Writer: David F. Walker Artist: Carl Sciacchitano Colorist: Sara Machajewski Publisher: Monkey Brain Comics Price: $.99 Release Date: 1/15/14