While the Big Two are marginalizing their horror titles to small corners of their universes, the genre is thriving from indie publishers. Studio 407’s Hybrid is the latest addition to that stable, and a welcome one at that.
Nothing good can come from dumping oozing black liquid into the ocean. Just ask Ethan and his girlfriend Brooke. They just want to have a good time with some friends in Cancun. Ethan, a marine biologist, wouldn’t mind doing a little research while they’re there. But there’s no such thing as a quiet vacation in the world of comics.
All the classic elements are here, from the nameless, careless corporation that dumps black ooze into the ocean, to the crotchety old sea captain who’s seen his fair share of mystery, to the less than intelligent best friend and his bikini clad girlfriend. And while there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking in this first issue, the set up is really well done and creates more than an enough interest to follow the story further.
Adding to the book’s appeal is the first rate artwork by Pablo Churin. The interior work on an indie book can be pretty hit or miss, but Churin does a nice job of telling the story without relying on the dialogue to explain the scene. His characters are easy to tell apart and attractive, just as monster fodder should be. But his work in this issue is never gratuitous, a good move as going that route would take away from the sense of realism in the book.
That realism is established early on in the script by Peter Kwong. In the first three pages we know where the monster came from, we see its first victim, and we meet Ethan and Brooke. The story is paced perfectly; we spend most of our time with our cast who are relatively unaware that there’s anything amiss.
Hybrid #1 isn’t going to set the comic book world on fire, but it is a solid first issue that shows plenty of potential. It’s also 24 full color pages for only $2.75, a little less than the going rate. If you’re a fan of old school, creature feature movies and like a little more monster in your horror, then this is a good book for you.
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