Pullbox Reviews Project: Shadow Breed #1- a new story arc featuring even more violence & mayhem!

“Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd” is the opening chapter in the next volume of the Project: Shadow Breed story that picks up right where Volume 1 (Project: Shadow Breed “The Beginning” 1-5) left off.

Lawrence Andrews, the protected prince of Seattle has hired three new mercenaries to take out Marrok and his partner Leroy while the police chief and his men begin moving weapons out of the city.

Will these three mercs be too much for Marrok and Leroy to handle or will the three of them get in each others’ way? Has SinTech figured out a way to get their hands on their missing asset and bring Marrok back in? Find out in the pages of this action-packed issue of Project: Shadow Breed.

In the history of action movie sequels, the theme is almost always go big, or go home. That approach looks to be the goal as Justin Bartz takes his paramilitary werewolf action creation into a new story arc (if you’re interested, you can check a review from the first arc here). Now the scourge of the Seattle underworld, Marrok & Leroy have to face a trio of hired killers out to collect a bounty on their heads. At its core, Bartz’s story is a no holds barred action movie laid out on the comic book page. While I can’t say that it would qualify as a blockbuster, it would absolutely find a place on my movie shelf next to flicks like Tremors, Universal Soldier, or any of the dozen direct-to-video movies from the 90s.

In this issue, Bartz introduces a parade of larger-than-life and off-the-wall characters, giving his vigilante werewolf a new series of challenges. Through it all, the quips and jibes abound as characters toss one-liners and high-velocity rounds with enthusiasm. And if some of the jokes fail to stick the landing, just remember that the same can be said for the average Michael Bay movie. What does stick out, unfortunately, is that the issue could have used another round or two of editing. It’s nothing major, but there are typos, repetitive dialogue, and a glaring continuity glitch that- for me at least- takes some of the polish off the issue.

Putting some of that polish back, illustrator Randy Meyers is handling his business. Being fully black & white, at first glance, the issue looks a little flat. But getting past that, the reader is graced with some interesting character designs and some pretty cool action sequences. There’s a series of panels that stood out to me and gave a great step-by-step look at a fight. Meyers’s handle on body mechanics was a high point for me, as artists all too often take shortcuts when laying out their action panels. The results tend to be a little awkward as figures look like they’re just plopped onto the page in what might be a dynamic pose, but the rest of the scene doesn’t line up around them. I didn’t run up against any of that here.

In the end, Project: Shadow Breed continues to be a solid comic… maybe not a perfect comic, but the concepts work and the action has been consistently great. Readers looking for a direct to video attitude in an action-heavy comic can do much worse than giving this one a try. As an indie piece of work, it holds up and stays ahead of the crowd.

Final Score: 10/13

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