Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review - Modern Testament Volume 2 (@InsaneComics)

"So you have to tell me the truth, ok?"

There are things that go bump in the night. Some of those things are bumping towards you, while others are bumping along their own way. Friend or foe is a sticky classification when it comes to monsters and Modern Testament Volume 2 from Insane Comics has a little of both. "Schoolyard Master" is written by Frank Martin, illustrated by Adrian Crasmaru and lettered by Kel Nuttall, "The Great Hunt" is written by Martin, illustrated by Igor Chakal, colored by Stanislav Leonou and lettered by Nuttall and "What is He Good For? (Absolutely Nothing)" is written by Martin, illustrated by Noreus Teves, colored by Laura Ruggeri and lettered by Nuttall.

How would a bullied youngster unwittingly summon a golem? Is it a good idea for hunters to voluntarily seek out the legendary Behemoth? And what happens when the Horseman of War confronts a veteran on vacation? Modern Testament continues to answer such questions with three all new standalone tales of biblical beings trying to find their place in our modern world.

Each of three stories in Modern Testament Volume 2 looks at a mythological monster and the reactions to is. In "Schoolyard Master," a golem is unknowingly summoned by a bullied student named Joey and Martin does a great job of balancing the Joey's disbelief of what happened versus his internal jubilation that he'll no longer be bullied. "The Great Hunt" sort of swings the other way, in that Martin describes humans as bullies looking for a good hunt--only the humans don't realize how powerful a Behemoth really is (and they've clearly never played a Final Fantasy game). The antagonist in "What is He Good For? (Absolutely Nothing)" is probably the most devilish and War's take on humanity is that without conflict he's bored, prompting Martin to position him as a being intent on causing strife for fun. Each of the three stories looks at "monsters" differently, but in the end they're all essentially about preserving a certain way of life.

The artwork throughout Modern Testament Volume 2 is somewhat varied. Crasmaru's approach in "Schoolyard Master" is emphasized by heavy cross-hatching and reinforces an Earth sense of life that echoes the creation of the Golem. "The Great Hunt" largely takes place at night and Chakal uses the darkness effectively to unveil the Behemoth who turns out to be every bit as terrifying as you would expect. Teves' work in "What is He Good For? (Absolutely Nothing)" is probably the most normal looking, although some of the characters come across as a little stiff. The different artistic approaches don't give the book a uniform feel at all, but they each work for their respective stories.

Modern Testament Volume 2 is a look at three of the less attended to characters in monster mythology. Each story bears similar themes of survival though and all three main characters do what it takes to survive and impact those around them. Martin's script is very easygoing and gets right to the point in each story. The artwork is appropriate for each tale, giving readers three unique ways to look at the topics of each story. Modern Testament Volume 2 offers a pretty interesting anthology that relies on subtle twists throughout each story.

Modern Testament Volume 2 is available now.


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