In Review: Animosity: Evolution #3

This story is frightening, funny, and opens up so many more possibilities in this Woken world.

The cover: Looking within a glass meat case, Doctor Adam North and KeeKiriKee look at the latest selection’s signage: 100% WAR CRIMINAL DOLPHIN, with the subtitle Guaranteed Fresh! Adam looks shocked, while the bat looks ready to make a selection. Great image that shows what the state of the new world is and a slick tease of what’s to be found within. The art is by Eric Gapstur and the colors by Rob Schwager. Overall grade: A

The story: In the Beatrix Police Station in San Francisco, six weeks after the Wake, Adam North is apologizing to Octavia that all he could find for her was a monogrammed washcloth “from some rich old lady’s house, but it was the softest I could find.” She’s sipping tea from a thimble trying to calm down after almost being swallowed by a snake last issue. Her sisters were swallowed, but cut out of the reptile by cybernetically enhanced animals and North. She’s there to offer testimony against Mya, the bat that assisted in all three’s almost murders. In Interrogation Room #4 the counts are read against the creature and it responds by making disparaging remarks against Kiri, who swoops down to the smaller bat, who says, “I know what you are and what you have to lose. You better f***ing believe I’ll rat you out if it’ll save my hide, Kiri.” Octavia and Adam’s arrival changes the tone in the room, with the antagonist revealing that she has information about her clients were and what she was selling. The officer agrees to a deal, but Mya says she wants to stay in North’s care until the trial. Octavia wants to stay with North, too, so that she can watch Mya. Adam reluctantly agrees. Writer Marguerite Bennett has created the most wonderful Animosity installment yet. This issue shows how law works in this ideal city and how dirty deeds go down, in an incredibly intense scene that begins on 7 — Pages 7 through 11 are shocking. It’s fast, brutal, and stunning. The story then takes a fantastic unexpected turn when one of the animal characters decides to go investigate on her own, leading to another intense scene that’s fascinating for what’s shown and what’s insinuated. The final page is a terrific shock and will have me on the edge of my seat until the next issue. Overall grade: A+

The art: Eric Gapstur begins this issue making this world seem cute and quaint now that the animals can speak. Inside the police station, little Octavia is bundled up in a washcloth, sipping tea, and wearing glasses. In the background animals surround the officers, with a rabbit hopping by wearing a police uniform. When Adam says that they should go, Octavia abandons the washcloth, leaves the tea, and jumps on his arm. What could possibly be wrong with this world? A turn of the page has everything go 180, with Kiri and Mya face to face, the anger obvious on the larger animal’s face. Page 6 reintroduces the enhanced creatures and they are familiar enough to be recognized, but their augmentations make them absolutely sinister. What each animal is doing says much about their characters, with the one in the second panel at the top of Page 7 saying much about that individual. The danger that appears at the bottom of the page is wonderfully teased from afar, making the reveal on 8 a shock. The smile on this creature’s face makes its actions all the more terrifying. The panel that crosses 8 and 9 at the bottom made me gasp, for I knew exactly what was going on. The chaos that erupts is amazing. Page 10 is a full-paged splash and it, too, made me gasp; Gapstur makes this insane! The fall out on 12 left me silent, with the looks given in the final panel spilling off the page. The book makes a major change of settings on 16, which is also a full-paged splash and it shows something unspoken of in this series or the one that spawned it. This location is ripe with visual possibilities and Gapstur makes it work outstandingly. My favorite page is 18, with two characters that should have created laughter with their appearance, but instead made me uncomfortable with their words. The final page is a super cliffhanger with a new character introduced who should have been with seen earlier with another group. This individual creates so many questions I can’t wait to have answered. Overall grade: A

The colors: As with the art, Rob Schwager lulls the reader into thinking all is right with this new world using pale colors. A turn of the page and Kiri’s eyes become crimson beams, the police officer is bathed in orange as she yells, and Mya’s brown fur stands out upon a yellow table: the colors have become much more intense. Note how Octavia and Adam’s entrance calms the colors down. The character that starts to enter a setting on 7 is a fantastic color, which foreshadowed for me what was going to happen immediately. The close-up of this character on 8 is stunning and it terrified me with its colors. When things go deadly, crimson captures the reader’s eyes. The new setting on 16 has the colors go very dark, to hide all types of despicable dealings, yet is bright enough to show enough to make the reader uneasy. The penultimate panel of the book has a great action in silhouette, highlighted by an vicious orange-yellow. Schwager manipulates the reader as well as the story and art does. Overall grade: A

The letters: This issue has Marshall Dillon creating scene settings, dialogue, a smaller dialogue font for smaller creatures, yells, a specific animal’s noise, and a death rattle. I’ve given praise to Dillon for the neat looking scene settings in previous reviews, but he does something different in this issue on the first page: he has one font to establish the location for the setting and then indents it to tell the reader the time of this story. It’s so cool! I love that the tiny animals have a tiny font; it makes absolute sense that they would be more difficult to hear. They’re also in a lighter colored font to shrink their speech. Everything Dillon creates is great. Overall grade: A

The final line: This story is frightening, funny, and opens up so many more possibilities in this Woken world. The art and colors manipulate the reader’s emotions as well as the story. And the letters give the perfect voice to characters of all sizes. Animosity: Evolution is a perfect comic, it’s that simple. Recommended. Overall grade: A

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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