Writer: Paul Ens
Artist: J. Korim
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Editor's Note: Neozoic will arrive in stores this October and is now available for pre-order.
A bit of sci-fi, mixed with alternate reality futures, and some fantastic artwork get this series off to a more-than-decent start. There are some plot questions I have concerning the subject matter, but there’s nothing I see keeping this book from selling more than a few copies.
Let’s say the meteor that killed all the dinosaurs was knocked off course and the extinct creatures walked among us today. How would life as we know it change? If humans weren't the dominant species anymore, would our view of each other change? Would monetary and government systems change as well? These are all questions that are addressed in this book. I have a few of them myself, but let’s move on for now.
A militaristic group of peace-keeping troops called Donti Squad is helping protect builders of some sort of structure at the outskirts of Monanti City (wherever that is on Earth). There was a brief clash between military and government officials, and then the rest of the story involves the Donti Squad and how they deal with dinos.
This is my second foray into the world of Red 5 comics this week. Abyss got me all lathered up for a second helping from this indie publisher, and from an artistic standpoint, I was not let down in the slightest bit.
Korim shows a hint of inspiration from manga, but his full expressive faces made for quite the close-ups. His landscapes showed off the jungle world and all the beauty in it. Subtle things struck me as odd, like how I couldn’t tell if some of the characters were male or female, but those matters went away quickly. Other small tidbits were fantastic, like how the view changed from wide to close up on page 23. Not every artist can pull that off, so hat’s off to JK.
The story had me scratching my head at times though. As with most first issues, the world these characters live in was established, and some of the details detracted from what should have been a free-flowing story pace. I spent a lot of time scratching my head with questions such as, “why do they use the word ‘Tigra’ instead of ‘T-Rex’?” The conversation at times also dragged between characters. As I am noticing with Red 5 books, the pacing is smooth with a good mix of dialogue and action. I just wish I didn’t have to stop during my read and ask myself questions that should be answered by the story. Maybe the background info will be filled in with later issues, but with a bi-monthly shipping schedule fans may not wait around to have these holes filled in.
The action sequences were the standout part of the issue, which of course is another tip of the hat to the art team. It was interesting to see Donti Squad try first to use non-lethal methods of dealing with dinosaurs before resorting to deadly force. Foam grenades and bolo-tipped arrows were used at first, which seemed very passive-aggressive. Of course, in this world of not upsetting the delicate eco-system, it makes sense. Considering Neozoic is a sci-fi book, it was also curious to see such primitive weapons being used also. When the Tigra (T-Rex) attacked, our lead heroine sprayed some sort of acid onto the monster’s skin then plunged her sword through the heart of the beast. Very cool scenes portrayed, and I just hope the plot moves us from action scene to action scene with continued fluidity.
This book will appeal to a niche audience assuredly. I question how much average comic readers will feel led to continue buying the title after the first offering, but with a bi-monthly schedule, there is ample opportunity to tighten up the scripts. Give this book a shot if you love sci-fi alternate Earths, and we’ll see how the dinos continue to live with the puny humans.
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