Monday, May 25, 2009

Comic Review: Asylum Press (Warlash, DTOX, Undead Evil)

Some months back Asylum Press sent me some special edition teaser comics and I thought it would be nice to do a review of each of them. These will be relatively short primarily because these are comics, rather than graphic novels, and as such are not full stories, and in some cases quite quick reads anyway. Here goes: Undead Evil (Special Edition) No. 0 by Frank Forte Of the four comics I received from Asylum Press, this one is my favorite. Undead Evil follows one Alfred Carter who has decided to dig through his mother's attic after her death. He discovers the Necronomicon and unwittingly becomes a part of a journey to discover the truth of his family's past, darkness and all. The story is interesting and remarkably gripping, but what stands out most is the artwork. Nenad Gucunja is an astonishing artist. The illustrations are detailed and gloriously dark, which is something I think is sorely lacking from comics these days. Gucunja paid careful attention to every minute detail, adding a certain disturbing life to the overall story. There isn't much else to say beyond that, really. If you're looking for superbly drawn work, then this is certainly a good place to go, especially if you like the dark and macabre. Warlash (Dark Noir) Vol. 1 by Frank Forte I can't say that I understand who Warlash is from this particularly issue. I don't know if it's because this is meant to be a teaser, and thus contains four separate stories with differing artist renditions/imaginings, but the best way to describe Warlash is to call him a slightly freakish superhero/vigilante who fights monsters of various description (in this comic he battles a genetically mutated man, an enormous, almost mechanical worm, a demon who seems to be the head honcho downstairs, and a man carrying some sort of mutated undead plague that destroys almost anyone he touches). The artwork for this comic is hit or miss. In the first story I felt like the art could have used some serious attention to the lines, because it feel very incomplete, as if the comic were still be storyboarded. The second story I thought was better, and perhaps the most well-rounded of the bunch, with the third story coming in a close second, and the last story on its heels. I think the first story is the only one I didn't enjoy, but the storyline for the last story (in which a man carrying some sort of undead plague seeks revenge on several whore houses) grabbed me the most (maybe because I like zombie-ish things). Still, all in all, a novel effort, but I think with some serious sprucing up of the artwork this could be a decent comic series. Warlash (Zombie Mutant Genesis: Special Edition) No. 0 by Frank Forte and Eric Rochford This particular issue contains the opening to a story called Zombie Mutant Massacre and a piece to another story called Zombie Mutant Genesis. The latter I didn't find all that enjoyable, and this is primarily due to the artwork again, although this may be a personal preference. The first story, however, is fantastic. It's a mix of the detective and superhero genres, following Warlash as he tries to figure out what is causing a series of mysterious, gruesome deaths. As he heads underground, we get a glimpse into the darker aspects of this city, in which drug addicts and violent gangs fight over territory in the sewers. The art here is pretty well done and certainly to my liking, and the story is intriguing, even if all I got was a glimpse. DTOX (Special Biohazard Edition) No. 0 by Frank Forte From the moment I started reading DTOX I was reminded of those old Heavy Metal movies. Maybe it's the art style or the sexualized storyline, or something else entirely. Regardless, that impression put DTOX into a good place in my mind. The world of DTOX is one in which nuclear war has devastated the Earth and created twisted mutated humanoids who seek out women and children to consume and, well, do other things to. DTOX is a vigilante warrior who destroys such monstrosities--oh, and he drives a tank. That's pretty much the basic premise. It's hard to get a good impression of this comic from such a short piece of work, but this one is certainly interesting and fun in that dark, Heavy Metal sort of way. The illustrations are well done, the story is a bit rushed (probably because this is sort of a teaser issue), but overall I found it enjoyable. And with that, I'm done with comic reviews. Let me know if anyone else here has read these and what you thought. If you're interested in learning more about Asylum Press you can go to their website.

5 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Warlash looks kind of interesting. I'll try to find out more.

Wilson said...

Strange - In reference to Undead Evil, I always thought the necronomicon only belonged to the Evil Dead universe >.>

furiousBall said...

hmm, i haven't read a graphic novel in a while, i might have to see if my local library has any of these

S.M.D. said...

I should probably mention that these comics are actually up for grabs in a giveaway I'm running on my personal blog here: http://wisb.blogspot.com/2009/05/1000th-post-massive-giveaway.html

Anywho.

Mauricem said...

Wow. That DTOX looks really good. I watched the trailer and have to agree that the art is phenomenal. Thanks for the heads up.