Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review - Gold Key Alliance #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"The world is a lie!"

Crossovers have a way of being fascinating looks at a publisher's universe. It gives readers the chance to delve into plenty of "what if" scenarios and see some characters team up and fight opponents that might have seemed like pipe dreams in the past. Dynamite Entertainment has been on a crossover tear lately and their latest to join that fray is Gold Key Alliance #1. The issue is written by Phil Hester, illustrated by Brent Peeples, colored by Morgan Hickman and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Turok, Dinosaur Hunter. Magnus, Robot Fighter. Solar, Man of the Atom. The Mighty Samson. The legendary heroes whose adventures have thrilled comic book readers for over half a century are back, only this time they all share the same time and the same world – ours! In this breakneck first issue, each warrior wrestles with the perils of the twenty-first century, but a greater evil is approaching, one that will unify the legendary champions in a struggle that will change each forever.

There's a lot of jumping around in Gold Key Alliance #1, but it's done in a way that works to establish all the key players. Hester gives each characters a few pages of introduction that are actually quite effective at setting them up as individual characters. There's clearly patience on the part of the script to inform the reader of the events and Hester doesn't exactly rush to reveal his hand as far as the story goes and that definitely works in favor of the story's pacing. Most of these characters are fairly unfamiliar to many modern readers and Hester's approach seems to take this into consideration as far as the issue's tone goes. There's a loose storyline that will bring them all together and Hester effectively rolls the story out methodically without spoiling what it is that will bring them all together.

The depictions of the characters by Peeples is pretty solid. Considering the disparate backgrounds, Peeples blends them together pretty cleanly, thanks to a relatively concise illustrative style that thrives on a relatively minimalist approach. The panels move between defined and loose, choices that are generally befitting of the character being highlighted at that point in the story. The empty gutters further accent this style and give the panels plenty of room to breathe in terms of keeping tabs on the action. Hickman's colors are simple yet elegant in terms of fleshing out the action.

Gold Key Alliance #1 is another Dynamite crossover that seems to want to draw in readers by bringing together various characters from different backgrounds. What's bringing them all together remains to be seen, but the series seems to want to savor the journey to that point. Hester's script is straightforward in that it lays out all the players, but not so revealing that it tells the reader all its secrets. Peeples' illustrations are a great fit for the story and effectively capture the essence of each of the characters involved. Gold Key Alliance #1 is a solid start to the series that promises to raise just as many questions as it does answers.

Gold Key Alliance #1 is in stores now.


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