Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Review - Endangered Weapon B

"I believe I can taste my teeth."

Such words are often spoken at the height of an alcoholic bender, with the drunk so imbibed that they have difficulty standing up and experience seemingly new sensations. When you're a wily hermit skilled in martial arts and leading a group of squids, the effects of that statement are likely going to be magnified immensely, as they are in Endangered Weapon B from Markosia Enterprises.

The graphic novel is written by David Tallerman and illustrated by Bob Molesworth. It's broken into three stories: "Endangered Weapon B and the Tentacles of Doom," "Endangered Weapon B and the Monsters of Monster Island" and "Endangered Weapon B."

"Endangered Weapon B and the Tentacles of Doom" pits the Professor and his crew of against Zhen Xiao Zhou Shang, a mysterious hermit who runs Squid Squad 7. The primary focus of the tale explains how the Professor enlisted the help of Tilly as Chief Engineer and Banjo as a mech-driving bear. The back and forth between the Professor and Zhen Xiao establishes the origins of most of the crew, while at the same time moving the group towards their next destination of Monster Island.

It's on Monster Island that the events of "Endangered Weapon B and the Monsters of Monster Island" unfold, introducing the group and reader to the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein and a werewolf. Things are a lot more complex than they seem at Dracula's castle, with all manner of science and general weirdness pervading the entire abode. The third story is titled "Endangered Weapon B" and is actually the first story done by the creative team, offering a series of small stories that have zombies, Nazi space dolphins and Wiffles the Ninja Butler.

If you couldn't tell by the above, Endangered Weapon B is crazy. There's a bear piloting a mech suit for starters, but that's not even the strangest thing in the graphic novel. That's the beauty of the work, in that everything is so strange, but it fits exceptionally well together. By the time you get to the end and are checking out the Nazi space dolphins, they really don't seem that far-fetched. Instead, Tallerman makes sure that the reader is thrust right into the madness from the start, giving them no chance to immunize themselves from what will unfold.

Molesworth's art is the perfect match for the zany tales. Many of the panels appear to fit together in a slightly imperfect way, which is a testament to the story itself they're depicting. He works in a lightheartedness to all the illustrations that serve as a reminder to the reader that everything doesn't have to be taken seriously. Sometimes, you can laugh at a bear in a mech balling up a group of squids and chucking them into the ocean.

If you're looking for an entertaining book that doesn't take anything too seriously, then Endangered Weapon B is for you. It's a work reminiscent of Atomic Robo that is a blast to read from start to finish. It moves very quickly, with the first story doing the most from a character description standpoint, while the second and third stories really delve deeper into the madness that is the story. Check it out if you're looking for some slightly lighter fare.

Endangered Weapon B should be available soon.


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