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BC Refugees Calls Radical Premiere: The Rising “Gorgeous”

Review by “pghhead”

There is a such a consistency and quality to the entire Radical line that you can pick up almost any of their special preview #0 books and not be disappointed for your $1.00 cover price. They feature good writing and art with amazing inks and colors that give every one of their books a just-painted look. The storylines all take place outside the superhero realm and focus on other pop culture genres – - western, science fiction, fantasy, crime, horror, etc. It’s as if they already realized that it’s tough to beat Marvel and DC at their own game – - so why not offer something different and stay with it?

I couldn’t figure out the entire storyline from the 16-page preview of THE RISING but I can discern enough to whet my appetite for the first issue when it debuts (not scheduled to occur until Winter 2011). The beginning of the issue features some soldiers with high-tech gear bogged down in a swamp as they await the amphibian-like alien enemy to come out of concealment and commence the battle. There’s just a smattering of dialogue and plenty of gorgeous art as the squad captain rescues an injured comrade only to get fried and left for dead by an lightening-like ray from hovering enemy aircraft. After page 6, there follows 8.5 pages of caption and dialogue free art, leaving the illustration to continue the story of how this soldier is revived and later joins a tribe of Amazonian people. He later is captured by the aliens.

You would think you were viewing storyboards for a movie; and no wonder when you consider who the creators are – - – E. Max Frye, a screenwriter who most recently worked on HBO’s Band Of Brothers series; and J. P. Targete, a Pixar illustrator who’s presently working on their adaptation of John Carter of Mars).

The aliens are apparently ruling the Earth now, with the cooperation of the female President of the United States and other former world governments. It seems the brother (Cyrus Jakes) of the captured captain (we don’t learn his name in this preview) has also become a willing ally of the aliens. He does nothing to interfere with their plans for his brother, which include a trial in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and subsequent assignment to a FEMA labor camp.

The aliens provide a man of faith to visit the camp, but it’s not for spiritual support or guidance. The reverend breaks out into profanity as he reveals his true purpose – - to break their spirit and crush their hope. In an intentionally ironic outcome, a prisoner is permitted to prove his faith and gain freedom by beating “Darwin at his own game.” Darwin turns out to be a behemoth mutated gladiator and the game is a bloody fight to the death.

Yeah, you might say a lot goes down in 16 pages. The full 56-page first issue and the entire 3 issue series should contain a lot more to keep my interest.

To read the full review, click on the image below.

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