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Freakshow #1 from APE Entertainment

Comic Reviews

Freakshow #1 (of 3) From APE Entertainment

Freakshow #1

Imagine A World Where The Freaks Are The Heroes.

Imagine a world protected by a lone super-hero, Vanguard. He is big. He is strong. He stands for all the best humanity has to offer.

And then one day, he is murdered.

His death at the hands of terrorists would be enough to shake any populace to its very foundation. But now imagine that the event that killed him also destroyed a major metropolitan area and polluted the air, ground, and water around it. It killed 99% of the people who lived there and left a giant smoking crater where a once great city stood. The 1% who survived have now become the things of legend. They are hideous. They are lethal. They are quarantined from the rest of society to keep society safe.

They are Freaks.

Freakshow #1, penned by David Server and Jackson Lanzing, serve up this scenario. A small group of survivors have become monsters. The toxic explosion that killed the world’s one true super-hero also turned this rag tag group into creatures who can morph, spread rot, or cause the human mind to go crazy. They are mutants, but unlike Xavier’s students they are hideous and terrible. Yet within their ranks is Creature – a small boy who can alter his form into seemingly any manner of beast. Through him we can see that these monsters aren’t all terrible, both inside and out. He dreams of taking the place of Vanguard, yet knows that he never will. He is the heart and core of the book, and he’s perfectly fit for the role.

On the other end of the character spectrum is Doctor Gaghen, the man who turned Vanguard from a common man into a super hero. He was looking to create the perfect human and it was ultimately his formula that was turned against the populace in an effort to breed a more perfect humanity. The Freaks know this and know that Doctor Gaghen is out to capture them so that he can dissect them, figure out what triggered their mutation, and ultimately breed his twisted concept of perfection.

The battles between Gaghen’s men and the group of Freaks are violent and gory and rendered by artist Joe Suitor in a style that evokes an anime influence. He’s not afraid to use a computer to add depth, motion, and texture. You often feel as if you are looking at stills from an animated feature and make the reader’s connection with Creature that much easier. Emotions come across extremely well and the artwork grows frantic as the action heats up, and breathes when the story slows down.

One other plot thread throughout the first issue involves Captain First Class Jacquelyn Murphy. She’s the only known survivor of any of the skirmishes between the Freaks and the military, and Doctor Gaghen takes a special interest in her. He wants to use her as his weapon of choice against the Freaks, and he hatches a plan to help her infiltrate the compound of the Freaks. This leads to the cliffhanger that closes out the first issue, and it’s one that instantly hooks you.

APE Entertainment has a gem of a comic in Freakshow. The characters all have unique voices and visual styles. The story is engaging, visceral, and intelligent. The villain is evil and despicable without being too cartoony and overdone. Freakshow is currently solicited as a 3 issue story, but if this first issue is any indication, an ongoing series could easily be centered and around this group of Freaks, if not just Creature himself.


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