Crimson Plague #1

Posted: Friday, June 16
By: Edward Douglas
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Writer/Artist: George Perez
Colors: Tom Smith, Joe Georganna & Adam Levine
Publisher: Image Comics (Gorilla Imprint)

Plot: Let loose by a band of Eco-terrorists, DiNA: Simmons is a beautiful but dangerous woman who kills her victims by bleeding on them. (Yuck!)

Man, I'm so happy to see George Perez's creator-owned CRIMSON PLAGUE return after such a lengthy absence. It has been way too long time the first issue came out through Event Comics, but thankfully, the issue is reprinted here for those like me who had forgotten everything that happened. The inclusion of extra pages and all sorts of extra material makes this worth buying a second time.

The general storyline has a SF bent with lots of twists and complex subplots like one of James Cameron's movies, reminding me both of ALIEN and SPECIES, though I think that the original issue of CRIMSON PLAGUE came out quite a bit before the latter. This issue focuses on Colonel Shannon Lower and her band of unruly troopers who have been called to the moon base on Mannaworks III to quell the terrorist uprising and rescue any survivors. As they're apprised of the situation, we're given a fairly comprehensive history of EcoTech, the organization that hired them.

It's great to see George writing again, as he's equally talented as a writer and as an artist, able to tell a complex story while developing the different character personalities with fluid dialogue that would fit well into good film. As a first issue, this is a bit long though and too many characters are introduced, making it hard to keep track of who's who. Maybe George got so wrapped up in trying to draw all his friends and fans into his comics that he went a bit overboard so that the focus veers too far away from the lead character. Also, the story jumped around between different places and times so that it took me most of the issue before I could follow what was happening. While I always appreciate a great comic value such as this (64 pages for $2.95!), this could have easily been split up between two issues to make for easier reading.

How can I say anything bad about one of my all-time favorite artists? The art is as excellent as always with interesting layouts, lots of detail, perfect character depictions, and lots of action. Basically, everything you could ask for in a comic! George seems to have a great amount of fun drawing the bloody mush that is what remains of DiNA's victims. Between this and the art in this week's first issue of EMPIRE, maybe they should just shorten the name of this imprint to "Gore Comics"?

I also found it funny that all the characters on Mannaworks II wears a little breathing apparatus that clip into their nose, which at first, made me think that everyone was wearing some sort of nose ring until I figured it out.

This was enjoyable once I was able to figure out the basic story, though it is definitely not for the squeamish, especially if you can't stand the sight of blood.

Like the other Gorilla launch comics, this also has a backup of Karl Kesel and Tom Grummet's SECTION ZERO, which looks like it will be an intriguing team book with lots of back history.

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