Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review - Medisin #1 (@ActionLabDanger)


"Health care for supervillains. What a concept, huh?"

Being an employee typically brings with it the benefit of health care. That plan can take care of you when you're injured without breaking your wallet. If you're a superpowered individual though, finding someone who can take care of you besides a confidant can often be tricky. In Medisin #1 from Action Lab Danger Zone, some villains find a solution. The issue is written by Jeff Dyer and Mark McKeon, illustrated by David Brame, colored by Joaquin Pereyra and lettered by Adam Wollet.

Criminal mastermind Malady has recruited a team of down on their luck physicians to provide medical aid for the world’s worst bad guys. Led by the brilliant Ethan Sharp, the blackmailed doctors struggle to uphold their own ethical codes (or lack thereof) in violent and confusing battlefields. And when one doctor goes rogue, the rest learn a terrifying lesson from Malady.

Full credit to Dyer and McKeon--the premise behind Medisin #1 is fresh and clever. Countless capes and tights books feature battles that are knockdown, dragout affairs that leave one (or both) sides severely wounded so Dyer and McKeon are giving those characters a means of healing up. The two writers pack a lot in Medisin #1 as far as dialogue goes, jumping between setting up the premise of the series and delving a bit into the origin of the characters. That being said, because the book is so dense a lot of the middle of the issue is a little meandering and difficult to follow. Dyer and McKeon bring it back around in the end and the reader gets a pretty clear picture of what the series will be about.

Brame's artwork is defined by thick, black character outlines that render the characters with sharp angles. These lines are further darkened by the black gutters and it's an interesting design choice that does resonate with the fact that the book is all about villains and being bad. Brame fills some of the panels with a variety of destroyed environments that adds a battlefield medic aspect to the book, further underscoring the dangerous nature of being a villain. There's also a flashback section of sorts that feels a lot softer than the rest of the book as Brame's emphasis on more innocent times is a welcome refrain from the more pessimistic present. Pereyra fills the book with an abundance of basic, primary colors that allow some characters to pop more than others.

Medisin #1 is a very novel concept. Ethan Sharp is one of many doctors pressganged into providing health care for villains, but being a smart guy means things might get more complicated for him. Dyer and McKeon have taken a pretty played out concept of comics and added a more modern-day twist. The artwork by Brame is solid and effectively follows along with the action--both on the field and in the locker room. Medisin #1 is definitely worth a read if you're looking for a new take on the genre.

Medisin #1 is available now.

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