Review - Ehmm Theory #1

Peter and Gabriel are staples of the Christian religion. One stands at the gates to Heaven while the other is an archangel messenger. It stands to reason that the two work together on a myriad of assignments, but it's likely that none of them involve what happens in Ehmm Theory #1 from Action Lab Comics/The Danger Zone.

The first issue is written by Brockton McKinney, illustrated by Larkin Ford and colored by Jason Strutz.

Gabriel wakes up with a slight headache. In fact, he's got a splitting headache, the result of a bullet to his head courtesy of his girlfriend. His death is all that's needed for Peter to try something out using Gabriel and his estranged father. Throw in Mr. Whispers (a talking kitten), clown zombies and mythic lore and you've got the makings of a strange book.

Ehmm Theory #1 really suffers from an over-simplistic story that's light on plot. There's little reason as to why Peter's girlfriend shoots him in the first place; she's convinced he's cheating on her, but it doesn't really seem like a plausible reason. Peter has the keys to Heaven, so why would a supposed adulterer be chosen for such an important mission? That aside, Peter's mission isn't exactly revealed either.

Peter indicates that they're trying something new and Gabriel has a chance to enter Purgatory if he finds his father. Other than that, there's little else revealed about the plot. Brockton could be doing this with grander ambitions down the road, but in the first issue it's a little difficult to get a grip on what exactly is happening. Gabriel quickly comes to terms with his newfound zombie stomping abilities and clearly has a checkered history with his dad. That's about all the character development there is in the issue.

Ford's art is equally as simplistic. There's practically no settings depicted in the panels; instead, Ford spends more time focused on Gabriel. Heaven is depicted with the characters against a lavender background, while the graveyard sequences are almost too dark. The clown zombies don't really get much page-time, but Mr. Sparkles is actually illustrated very well as a kitten. It helps add some gravity to the book, but other than that, the art is sort of disconnected from the story.

The first issue ends with something of a hook, but it's a little difficult to be caught by it. It seems a little too simplistic and doesn't really seem to be anything more than what it is: a story about a man sent back to fight zombies. Even sussing that out is a little difficult, which means the rest of the series may be equally as un-focused. It feels like it's tapping into something Sam Raimi would do; only Ehmm Theory #1 doesn't quite reach such heights.

Ehmm Theory #1 will hit stores in May.