Bob Frantz told me he would send me his comic 41 and like any good old reporter, I had to do some research. Trying to get a glimpse of what I was getting into, I instantly knew I’d love this comic when I saw the genre listed as an apocalyptic, sci-fi, western, shoot-em-up. All of those combinations, like a chemical reaction, would make for something AMAZING, if mixed correctly. After reading Bob’s comic, I would say he is a skillful chemist.
About the book:
Every life hold’s its secrets. So does every world! Bullets fly, tires squeal and men die as a top notch team of mercenaries from a world torn future, take on their most dangerous job ever! Someone knows why this world is such a disaster. This band of misfits must find out why 41 years later!
Armed with an introduction that would make the A-Team proud, 41’s action packed intro glued my eyeballs to the page. Pablo Peppino‘s black and white illustrations were FANTASTIC. The post apocalyptic feeling was ever present in many of the panels. His attention to detail was phenomenal.
Issues 2-4 were illustrated by Alexander Singleton who did a great job transitioning from Pablo’s black and white to his more grey scale approach. The art only gets better in his very capable hands.
The dialog was fast paced, as expected for multiple pages of shoot-em-up action, but lets up enough to give us a chance to get a glimpse into the characters personalities. One fact I thoroughly enjoyed was that one of the brains of the mercenary outfit, Carter, was a female. I enjoy the fact she was NOT used in a temptress role, but had a pivotal role in actually getting things done.
We follow the mercenaries as they carry out a thrilling mission which causes them to cross paths with “the hunter”, who keeps them on their toes. He is ruthless but has a job to do and does it with a “cold and brutal efficiency”. As the body count rose I was continuously kept on the edge of my seat.
My pet peeve of GREAT lettering and panel pacing was honored. I even enjoyed the different sound effect fonts, for the many guns used in this book.
There where a few things I did notice that should be addressed though. There where a few typos in issue #3 that kind of messed with the flow of some text bubbles. Also I felt like issue #4 started abruptly into an action scene. The story arc ends well, but leaves lots of questions unanswered. If done on purpose, it was a genius way to keep readers wanting to find out what lead to the world’s demise.
This comic is appropriate for a mature audience. There is lots of violence and some adult language (a literal F-bomb was thrown in issue #1).
Bob Frantz has a great story in his hands. The action packed first issue will keep readers engaged and curious as to what lies in the second installment. The fantastic art and layout almost makes it hard to believe it’s independently done.
If you’re into Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, Western, Shoot em Up fun, go and get your issues NOW!