This is a very different comic series from Paul Jenkins. Don’t get me wrong I can see his structure and creative process all over it. In a strange way it’s very akin to Fairy Tale Outlaws, but with its own flair of course. I’m glad that it exists though and that Titan Comics has brought it to North America. I love comics like this that would ordinarily struggle to be picked up by a publisher and likely remain in the sea of undiscovered indie books. It’s a comic experiment that I’m glad exists. The story picks up with our twin DJ’s staring face to face with Will Shakespeare and other historical figures; Mike breaks the moment (which is frozen in time in case you forgot) and goes to make himself a sandwich. He figures that this is all just a dream and that he’s going to sandwich it up in the meantime. The historical figures explain their role and the conflict they’re up against. The gist is that once a generation a creative force is born that can fight back evil and prevent it from taking over the world. The big question seems to be why there are two of them chosen when all the previous incarnations have been solo.
The story switches over to the “evil team” and we meet the nameless one… that looks a lot like the devil. He too is confused by the appearance of two chosen ones, but his court of demony people offers him the idea that the “good” forces are growing weak and fear his power… this doesn’t turn out to be true.
It’s an interesting issue even if most of it seems to be spent explaining the world. I’m curious to see where it’s going, but the overall plot only takes a baby step in this issue. I enjoyed seeing the different historical figures come into play later in the issue. There was one that was very surprising that no one will see coming and the comic makes a meta reference to that fact. Jenkins brings a lot of his style to this series, but I’m still waiting for the heart. Right now it reads like commentary on the importance of the creative process, but that isn’t a strong enough theme on its own currently.
Can I just say that I love art studios? I do. It’s one of the reasons I enjoyed and supported anything made by Udon before they got Capcom money and decide to just do art books. I don’t know if Stallar Labs is just Alti Firmansyah and Beny Maulana, but the fact that they can seamlessly produce a comic together is great. If there’s more to the Stellar Labs team I would love to see it. They do a fantastic job with this issue and have a ton thrown at them to illustrate in the issue. Not only are they bringing a dozen or more well-known historical figures to life, but they’re drawing different places in time and reality. It’s a treat to view the art and the team tells a fantastic narrative with just the visuals.
I like this issue and series, but it’s missing that special something. It’s just a cool series right now, but I don’t know if it has what it takes to be a treasured jewel in comic’s history. It’s an interesting experiment that may pave the way for other series, but I’d really like to see it stand on its own as something creative and different for the world of comics.
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Artists: Alti Firmansyah and Beny Maulana of Stellar Labs
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: 8/28/13