Monday, June 3, 2013
The issue is written by Fabien Rangel, Jr., illustarted by Ryan Cody and lettered by Ed Brisson. "The Ghost and the Time Machine" back-up story is written by Rangel, Jr. and illustrated by Cody.
Doc Unknown is a hero in a Gate City that really needs them. The latest villain to leave his mark is the former heavyweight champ of Gate City and he also just so happens to be large and green. The two square off over an artifact with the power to revive inanimate objects. More than that, Doc Unknown seems to have an ability to talk to ghosts, guided throughout the entire attempted caper by one giving him "recommendations" tantamount to his survival.
As far as plot goes, Rangel, Jr. has clearly infused Doc Unknown with a lot of Batman. Not just any Batman, but Batman: The Animated Series to be specific. Doc Unknown acts (and is feared) like Batman while the villain looks exactly like Killer Croc. They have a rather familiar banter, right down to Doc Unknown offering explanations bordering on platitudes. He's got a "crime is bad" vibe that he's attempting to leverage against the enemy, despite the fact that he doesn't know the entirety of what Gate City can conjure up.
Cody's art is spot on when it comes to the story. It's a very art deco style; again, reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series. There are some fairly creative panel layouts, with Cody relying on standard boxes and insets. There are some great full-page works as well, really emphasizing the crime-fighting of Doc Unknown. The flashback panels have an old-timey feel to them as well, helping to keep time in perspective.
Fans of the superhero, serial detective stories might find a lot to like in Doc Unknown #1. The lead character is competent as a hero and has a decent motivation. Whether or not there's a grander plot in play remains to be seen, but at least the first issue has some interesting starts to it. There does appear to be an intergalactic element to it and fans of books like Atomic Robo might really be into Doc Unknown #1.
Doc Unknown #1 is currently available over at comiXology. Be sure to check out the book's site here.