When you think about the classic films burned into your childhood psyche, it’s the faces that linger. Harrison Ford’s nervousness in Indiana Jones, the face of the woman getting stabbed in Psycho, Humphrey Bogart in…everything. We remember these faces because they connect the characters to the human condition. It also helps when the older films had actors from theater where big expressions were important.
What am I getting at? Half Past Danger reminds me of the classic films we watch and re-watch because we connect with the characters in the moment. I was blown away by the last issue in this series so expectations are high for today’s issue; is it good?
Half Past Danger #5 (IDW Publishing)
Missed our review of issue #4? Check it out here.
Last month I decided to read issue #4, because dinosaurs. The covers always looked fun and B-movie caliber, but I just didn’t have the time or forgot it was coming out. What a fool I was! Having not even read the first three issues I was still completely captivated by the story, especially the quality in which it was told. I was also surprised how easy it was to enjoy the characters, and at the time I wasn’t sure why, but after reading issue #5 it’s pretty clear: the faces. Artist and writer Stephen Mooney draws some exceptional expressions. Having seen the man’s face recently I realized the main protagonist is modeled after him. I guess we can’t all be lucky to be as beautiful and talented as Mr. Mooney. After reading this issue you’ll agree with that sentiment as well.
The last issue was non stop action, sequence after sequence, but delivered in a very clean and well-paced way. The protaganists are trying to stop Nazis from using dinosaurs to win the war. The main protagonist was left to fight two tyrannosaurus rex and it didn’t look good for him.
Since the facial expressions are so distinct, I’m starting to wonder if Mooney is employing a similar technique to Greg Land. It’s a lot less repetitive, but there are some shots in this issue where our blonde protagonist looks exactly like Alexander Skarsgård from True Blood. The Land comparison is also way off when it comes to backgrounds, layouts and…well, everything else. Mooney is exceptional in all of these areas, always keeping you on your toes and always moving the story forward in efficient ways.
When compared to last issue there’s a lot more exposition here (largely because the protagonists do need to get from point A to point B) but there’s still plenty of action to speak of. Basically the gear is lowered so that the next issue will completely explode. To get the characters from A to B, Mooney incorporates a game of chicken between submarines, some Nazi neck snapping and a very big twist you might not be expecting. I call that a win even if the action slows a bit.
- Well told story through and through
- Looks great, reads great
- I mean, there could be more pages?
Is It Good?
Oh yeah. When it comes to comic books I like to employ the movie test. It goes something like this: as you’re reading do you want to see this on the big screen? Would this translate well with actors replacing the drawings? Would it make huge bank by summer’s end? If you answered yes to all of those then it passes the movie test and this passes with flying colors. It’s everything you’d want in an action adventure novel, comic, movie no matter the delivery and you’d be a fool not to check this out.
It’s so damn good I’d recommend picking up back issues instead of trade waiting. Your life will be better for it!