It’s amazing to think how far comic book movies have come in the eight or so years since “Iron Man” (2008). Before, comic books were sort of molded into whatever Hollywood thought an action movie was supposed to be at the time, with no acknowledgment that thousands of comic book characters fight in the same universe.
Spanning decades, publishers, genres, and themes, it’s impossible to discount Darwyn Cooke’s impact on the artistry and narrative of the medium. Cooke’s style — a simplified yet powerful homage to the artistry of the Golden Age — has been a refreshing cornerstone of DC and popular comics since the 1990’s.
DC failed where Marvel succeeded because DC never established the ground rules of their new universe in the first place. Instead, they did a hard reboot, set the stories five years later, and then ran in every direction possible.
Just reading The Goon felt fun and fresh and original, and it was never too hard to imagine that that was how Eric Powell must have felt when he was creating it. In return, Powell got a lifetime reader in me. And that lifetime reader woke up to some pretty awesome news this morning: Powell is pushing his independent comic publisher Albatross Funnybooks into top gear.
Notice I didn’t say mutant sharks, hybrid sharks, alien sharks, or any other possible title that could be used to explain how or why these creatures are where they are. How do they breathe? How do they move? How are they suited to this environment? Sorry, this isn’t that kind of book.
Based on the first issue alone, it would be difficult to sum up the story of Dept H in a way that sounds complete. In the most simplest terms, it’s a bottle mystery, wherein an outside investigator — Mia — is called in to a sealed research facility on the ocean floor to solve a murder. But there’s so much more going on here than an isolated whodunit.
As Comic book fans, we believe our role in the comics industry to be obvious and undeniable. We are clearly and unarguably the very life force that allows our favorite heroes to thrive. It is through our generously provided love and slavish devotion that these characters have been allowed to endure.
This is an unconventional sci-fi story, written as an old detective noir. It comes complete with all and layers of grit, grime, and hard-nosed fast talking characters straight out of the 40s that you would expect from that particular genre.
The subject is suspect and the themes and topics are iffy at best, but it has a number of things going for it: first, it’s published by Image, it hosts a duo of creators I’m not immediately familiar with, and this comic looked like it was at least attempting to try something interesting or uncommon. At least, reading about it online and in Previews, I was led to believe that much.
If I’m being totally honest, Cry Havoc is not a comic, my friends. No, it is an artistic showcase. While on the very surface it is an enjoyable read, and visually fun to look at, this is no Michael Bay popcorn movie of a book. Cry Havoc is an extremely decisive and deliberately crafted work worthy of multiple reads.