There aren’t enough comics on stands that make you laugh or ones that push a meaningful message, but both? That’s tough to come by. AfterShock Comics has a new series out this week that’s possibly the funniest on the stands, but is it good?
Animosity: The Rise #1 (Aftershock Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
The Animals thought, spoke and took revenge. The dust has settled and the blood has dried, but a new force is rising in the West, ready to help Animal-kind seize power in the dark new world to come…”
Why does this book matter?
Marguerite Bennett is one of the hottest writers right now (just look at her fantastic work on Detective Comics) who has always had a strength in dialogue and character work. Juan Doe takes up the art and, given how funny this issue is, his comedic timing is on point.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Cats would so kill us.
I had absolutely no idea what I was in for when cracking this book open, but boy was I pleasantly surprised. It opens with carnage at the Best Friend Veterinary Clinic (oh that’s good) as vet Adam North witnesses the beginning of an animal takeover. Bennett takes the reader’s expectations of the cute, cuddly, and beautiful nature of animals and flips it into a realm of complete chaos and hilarious dialogue. It’s not clear yet how this transformation from cute animals to filthy mouthed and vengeful creatures has come about, but it’s hilarious as hell. The animals aren’t as majestic as we thought and Bennett plays with that. There are laugh out moments galore in this sequence as Bennett pulls plenty of laughs out of of this very insane setup. Essentially the animals have had enough of our shit and now that they can talk it’s time to shut the fuck up.
The second half of the book builds off of the animals setting up infrastructure and Adam North coming to grips with the new world. Once again, Bennett plays with our expectations and doesn’t slow down the pace to accomplish it. As first issues go, a lot is shown and explained in a way that keeps your attention and your interest. North is a good character in that he’s acting and reacting in the same way most of us would.
The art by Doe is illustrated with a thin line with a good use of pop with the colors. The humans in the book are rather simplistic; Adam North for instance has a rather flat looking face and small beady eyes, but the animals look accurate and believable. Much of the humor requires the art to do it justice and I think Doe pulls this element off wonderfully.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s hard to fault this excellent first issue. Some of the art does have a flatness to it that lacks a certain dynamic to make the environment believable. It’s only an occasional issue and doesn’t draw away from the humor or story.
One could argue the explanation for this takeover, or how the animals are all of a sudden intelligent and talking is fair, though given the humorous angle it isn’t all that important. It did however cross my mind, especially in the later half of the book when things get more serious.
Dolphins, the meanest bastards on Earth.
Is It Good?
This is an excellent first issue due to its fast pace and downright hilarious moments. Bennett and Doe are crafting a series that gives new meaning to treating animals fairly, but doing so with big laughs and high entertainment value.