In Review: Animosity: The Rise #2

An absorbing story that shows it's difficult to lead and follow after The Wake.

The cover: A fantastically futuristic and frightening cover from interior artist Juan Doe. Veterinarian Adam North’s handler, Kee-Kiri-Kee begins to open his wings to terrify the reader. The veins showing through his flaps of skin are creepy, yet oddly seem similar to the circuitry board behind the creature. A terrific combination of nature and technology with some fantastic coloring, also by Doe. Overall grade: A

The story: Dead butterflies, dead beetles, dead birds, dead cats, dead deer, and dead humans lay in a warehouse, attended by animals that have awoken to intelligence. “What should we do with them all, Wintermute? Bury them?” asks one of the leader’s lieutenants. She responds, “…We can’t afford to.” This ominous response is left hanging as writer Marguerite Bennett moves to a flashback showing little Adam visiting his dying father in the hospital. It adds much to Adam’s character. The story then transitions to the present as Adam is listening to a radio broadcast on missing people, when his handler, the bat Kee-Kiri-Kee, bursts into the room, mouth foaming, squealing, “Human–!” This shocking moment turns into a funny visual bit, ending with Adam asking the bat for something. After Adam goes to eat in the lobby of his hotel, which is where humans are held and watched over by animals, the story moves to Wintermute, who has to chide someone with lethal force. Wintermute is an extremely interesting character, explaining several things to Adam. Among them, how this new world works and how it has to work. Page 12 has the biggest revelation made to Adam, showing how he will fit into this new order. Something odd happens to him while in the Pullman Hospital and is forgotten during a scene back in the lobby, which is tense, but increases the impending threat that Wintermute stated earlier. Back in the hospital, a surprising conversation occurs that turns this series upside down. Where this series goes only Bennett knows and I can’t wait to read it. Overall grade: A

The art: Juan Doe is responsible for the book’s illustrations and colors. The first page features five panels showing different animals as if they are being tossed up in the air. They’re within violet colored panels, atop a large image of splattered blood on a black background. It’s a shocking series of images, leaving the reader wondering what’s going on, until a turn of page shows that Doe has set up the full-page splash wonderfully. Wintermute’s back is to the reader, gazing at the bodies in the warehouse. The setting is violet, with the lights in the ceiling a bright orange, giving the illustration an alien tone. The flashback that follows is shaded yellow and tan to age the reading, which is good. The visual joke that starts Page 5 is outstanding. I like that the lobby sequences are given greens, foreshadowing sickness. Wintermute is an eye catching character because of the stellar bright blue eyes, which is echoed by the computer monitors in located in the same room. Kee-Kiri-Kee is a fierce looking creature, always with piercing orange eyes against even brighter backgrounds. When Kee-Kiri-Kee uses his thumbs it’s undeniably creepy and when he’s in Adam’s face it produces chills. Even in the book’s final pages, when something is revealed, the bat is still a frightful character. The final image of the book is great: two images of Adam with something in orange stealing focus. Doe is excellent on this book and on World Reader, also published by AfterShock Comics. Overall grade: A

The letters: Narration and dialogue (the same font), scene settings, quoted dialogue, yells, and some important text on the final page are brought to life by Marshall Dillon. Colors and shape of text balloons are used to differentiate narration from dialogue, which is fine, but different fonts would have been more visually pleasing. Additionally, animals’ dialogue is differed from humans and other animals by their dialogue balloons. This, too, is okay, but I’ve seen other publishers use different fonts for different species and it would be better to have animals visually speak differently (For example, see Zenescope’s Jungle Book series). These grouses aside, Dillon’s work is very easy to read and is placed perfectly in every panel. Overall grade: B-

The final line: The new world order is beginning to stumble and one human has an opportunity for change. An absorbing story that shows it’s difficult to lead and follow after The Wake. A reader can root for the animals and the humans, but it appears that soon they’ll be fighting each other and among themselves. Overall grade: A-

To purchase a digital copy go to http://aftershockcomics.com/on-sale-july-2017/

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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