Welcome to another edition of THIS JUST IN! where we dive into first issues from major comic publishers. This week we are diving into The Rook from Dark Horse Comics. Written by Steven Grant, with amazing artwork by Paul Gulacy, it is a story of The Rook, a time traveler who is being chased down by a whole legion of baddies. I mean, the comics freaking tagline is “A Time-Travelling, Gunslinging Monster Fighter” which really says all we will need to know.
The story starts out with Rook, our main character, dressed up in classic british war era clothing. He seems to be in the middle of a giant battle in Northern Spain between Spain and Britain. It explains how he is there in 1813, and that his trust companion Man-Rs (it is pronounced manners) tells him that there was several other readings, which turn out to be the people he was running from. They are your classic group of villains, including Deadpan, Downtown Abby, and The Volgarian (to name a few of the team of villains). The names are a bit odd, and honestly I do not feel we learned a lot about what drives the character, but it was an okay read.
Chasing Rook through time, trying to murder him and steal his Time Machine (as he destroyed theirs) proves to be extremely challenging, as main characters usually are. In this case though, it turns out that Rook is not the main character as we thought, and just an introduction to the main character. The story get super violent, a little trippy, and even introduces us to H.G. Wells, as it turns out that H.G. Wells had actually done some time travelling.
The story is well developed, and fun to read, but it is not exactly an original idea. We’ve all read time travel stories, maybe not with such creepy (but way too overdone) villains to be included. The whole plot to this one is highly over the top, and keeps you paying attention just to make sure you’re not getting lost. Still, I wanted to keep reading it, even though it was a bit easy to guess a lot of what was coming.
The artwork, now that is something else. I hate ever talking bad about any comic, so I will keep it brief. The art? I really disliked the style, I felt it did not translate to a dark/violent comic, and honestly it just came off super cheesy. The proportions were way off, the art was not clean, and everytime I looked at the art behind the main character, all I could think was “damn, his face. It is so goddamned long!”
Overall, it is pretty much what I have come to love and hate about Dark Horse. The story is good, the company knows what they want to produce, and what people will read. I feel like for such a basic idea and style, they just tried to do too much in a first issue.
Thanks again for reading, and tune in next week for another THIS JUST IN! review.