PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of ABERRANT #2 from Action Lab Entertainment‘s Danger Zone imprint. Available Wednesday, July 18th, the creative team for this series features writing from Rylend Grant, art from Davi Leon Dias, colors by Iwan Joko Triyono, and lettering from HdE.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
It was just a couple of weeks ago I watched the second episode of season three of AMC’s Preacher, entitled “Sonsabitches.” One of the aspects I loved in that episode sees Herr Starr and members of The Grail bust into a Krishna temple with an epic gunfight/battle scene slightly in slow-motion, all while “Get Together” by The Youngbloods takes over for the accompanying audio. I’ve included the clip below for reference.
Please note: Video contains some graphic violence. View at your own risk.
Suffice it to say, that scene was a very enjoyable scene to watch for me. There’s something about the way the accompanying music not only adds to the scene, but gives the viewer/spectator a feeling within as the brutality and merciless nature is contrasted with the love-filled theme of the song. It’s this juxtaposition that I felt immediately upon reading the early pages of ABERRANT #2. The opening sequence depicts a violent and intense action scene, all while “Blue Christmas” is being played in the background. When I first read that creator Rylend Grant had been working at obtaining the rights for some songs for ABERRANT, it puzzled me. “Music rights? For a comic book?” And while issue one did provide a similar feeling with Croon’s singing, I think it took this opening sequence in ABERRANT #2, and my recent viewing of Preacher, to make me fully understand and truly appreciate the value music can play in any medium. Even comic books.
Writer Rylend Grant has proven to me that you don’t require twenty-plus years in the comic book industry and/or have numerous titles with the Big 2 publishers to be recognized as a remarkable writer. Talent is talent, and Rylend has it in spades. He delivers intrigue, emotion, intelligent segues, and an omnipresent cloud of “Who can you trust?” lingering. The Aberrants are becoming more fleshed out and we get a great look back at Task Force Whiskey Six. There is no minutiae in ABERRANT; Grant has this story and all its characters thought out deeper than the comic lets on.
I love the choice of music and how it accentuates that thematic element not characteristic in comic books…and with good reason, it’s incredibly difficult to pull off. But wisely chosen and smartly-placed, you can alter the paradigm from a mere comic book reading to a comic book experience. It’s captivating, it’s raw, and it’s set apart from anything available today. It’s the “level up” kind of storytelling the industry needs. And a hearty Cheers to Rylend for the Easter eggs in this series (so far)!
Artist Davi Leon Dias takes over illustrations from Zsombor Huszka and does it beautifully. He has exceptionally made the transition, respecting and embracing the illustrations laid before him from Huszka. Whereas Zsombor was incredibly detailed in many areas, Davi may be slightly less so but brings an increase in the depth of any given scene in each and every panel. His character angles and direction are very well done, his inks are strong and ample, and his firm grasp of light sources really stand out (especially with Triyono’s substantial colors). The angles, the depth in panels, the facial expressions captured, and a defining look, Dias definitely brought his A-game with his first touch of the series.
Colorist Iwan Joko Triyono’s work is fitting and quite complimentary. Much of the issue is in dark sourroundings and the colorist doesn’t detract from that. Instead, you’re given a subtle, but authentic look to the characters. I’m impressed with his shading and highlights when dealing with a difficult light source, especially with facial features. He knows what to accentuate and what to pull back on and allow Davi’s drawings take the forefront. Great team player and a keen eye.
Letterer HdE is killing it in this series! His usage and placement of the melodic song verses have a HUGE affect on the reader. As I mentioned in the intro, the songs contrasting with the illustrations make for an incredible dynamic for a comic book. He also captures our lead David’s voice with his internal dialogue captions. There’s just something about them that project the voiceover you’d expect while watching a television drama or similar film. Not only that, but HdE gets a lot to work with, and also with which to have fun. Really enjoying what the talented letterer brings to the overall product.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
Action Lab has unleashed a beast and raised the bar with ABERRANT. Only two issues in, but already overflowing with greatness and potential. Knowing this is planned for ten issues (two 5-issue story arcs) makes it all the better. ABERRANT is not only a comic you can’t put down, it’s one you don’t want to end. From the dramatic storytelling, appealing illustrations, cinematic-like experience, action and excitement throughout, and a cohesive creative team, ABERRANT is the most well-rounded title I’ve read all year. And we’ve only just begun!
5 out of 5 Stars
ABERRANT #2 can be purchased on ComiXology and at your
local comic shop & online retailers Wednesday, July 18th!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – Rylend Grant
Artist – Davi Leon Dias
Colorist – Iwan Joko Triyono
Letterer – HdE
Publisher – Action Lab: Danger Zone