Review - Doctor Crowe #1 (@215Ink)

"So we're walking into a trap, eh?"

Doctors have a way of curing what ails you. Sometimes it's just a viral infection, whereas other times it's a werewolf. Those experienced in the latter like Doctor Crowe in Doctor Crowe #1 from 215 Ink are definitely few and far between. "Beneath the Black" is written by Corey Fryia, illustrated by Tony Gregori, colored by Josh Jensen and lettered by Micah Myers. "Wretched" is written by Fryia, illustrated by Matt Horak, colored by Doug Garback and Mark Dale and lettered by Nic J. Shaw. "The Lost Coven" is written by Fryia, illustrated by Karim Whalen, colored by Laura Lee and lettered by Myers. "Dreamwaker" is written by Fryia, illustrated by Gregori, colored by Jensen and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

Unrelenting otherworldly terrors lay hidden in shadows of our world, but one man dares to stand in their the name of science! Follow the harrowing adventures of Dr. Victor Crowe, an adventuring scientist, expert on the occult and all-around pulp hero as he travels the globe using advanced technologies to battle gruesome, supernatural horrors.

Each of the four stories by Fryia are rife with pulp in terms of their approach and content. Those stories involve everything from bog men to witches to werewolves to dream eaters--all of which Fryia uses to great effect. Doctor Crowe is certainly no stranger to the strange and Fryia writes him with a confidence in his abilities that gives the reader encouragement that he'll survive whatever he faces. And the fact that each story in the issue has a clearly defined arc and resolution is very satisfying, allowing Fryia to further expand upon the lead character. The opponents in the stories all draw inspiration from myths and legends, allowing Fryia to essentially build Doctor Crowe up to be something of a legend himself.

The artwork throughout the issue is pretty varied, owing to each of the different stories having different artists. Despite the different artistic approaches, Doctor Crowe himself is illustrated with a plague doctor mask that gives him a sense of nostalgia that's befitting of his adventures. All of the artists actually tap into a vaguer, steampunk approach in their artwork that populates the world with simple weaponry and an attention to pretty inventing environments. All four of the artists tap into this atmosphere very effectively, really giving the reader a sense that they could be going along on Doctor Crowe's latest adventure as well.

Doctor Crowe #1 is a pretty solid introduction to the character and the world he lives in. Doctor Crowe goes up against opponents who live in legend and his methods for dealing with each are pretty entertaining. Fryia gives Doctor Crowe a lifetime of experience dealing with the unknown and that shows through in the issue. The artists each do a great job of rendering Doctor Crowe in action against all manner of evil. Doctor Crowe #1 is a very entertaining first issue that gives readers a new globetrotting monster hunter with a penchant for flair.

Doctor Crowe #1 is in stores December 7.