Monday, July 22, 2013

Review - Department O #1

Clandestine organizations poised to protect humanity from things that go bump in the night are certainly not lacking for representation. While each of them have their own agendas, they do share one thing in common: an eclectic mix of teammates working in concert. Monkey Pipe Studios has another book with such a team-up in Department O #1.

The first issue is written by Jamie Gambell, illustrated by Andrew Maclean and colored by Heather Breckel.

Things aren't going according to plan in Department O. Members include only Mr. Bristol, Mr. Harrigan, Sir Miles, Mr. Zeikel, Sir Henry and Lord Blutstein. The biggest reason why their numbers are so low is the "incident," referenced in the book and pitched as cause of great concern for the team. Regardless, they've still been tasked with doing their duty and that duty includes entertaining a very unique set of guests.

There's going to be obvious comparisons to Hellboy, but relating Department O to Atomic Robo wouldn't be far off either. The work exists somewhere in between both of those, with Gambell offering readers a very interesting collection of individuals who have little difficulty bringing things together when necessary. The first issue lays out the prime dynamics of all the characters without giving too much away and establishes a tone for the series as well. Characters are interesting and the pitch looks like it could be exciting as well.

Maclean's illustrations are very enticing. He doesn't rely on an excessive amount of detail in characters or settings; rather, he lets broad strokes carry his work throughout. Such a style gives the characters various looks that match their personalities as well. There are some solid full-panel shots as well that really give certain characters and scenes more space to breathe, allowing the reader to full enjoy the great art presented as part of the issue. The last page is probably the most detailed of all of the art and it offers both a chilling preview of what's to come and a glimpse into relationships past.

Works that feature the strange and unexplained will always garner attention. Works that do that and mix in a merry band of "heroes" are definitely worth checking out. Department O #1 has a happy blend of all of the above, offering readers some relatively lighter fare that's pointing to a rather intriguing story. Fans of Hellboy and Atomic Robo will definitely find a lot to like in Department O #1. Fans who haven't checked out either of the aforementioned works will also want to check out the book for something fresh to enjoy.

Department O #1 is available via comiXology now.


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