Pullbox Reviews Hunt. Kill. Repeat- Mad Cave Studios takes the revenge story to mythological heights

It’s Kill Bill meets Clash of the Titans in Hunt. Kill. Repeat. The all-new, action packed series by Mark London (Battlecats, Knights of the Golden Sun). When the Greek gods invade Earth, society is quickly forced to comply with their new rulers.

However, one god, Artemis, rejects her brethren’s ideology and has found solace in the love of a mortal. When she is called to Olympus to answer for her betrayal, the gods strip away her godly powers and leave her for dead. Now, ten years later, Artemis is on a quest for revenge to confront her father, Zeus, for taking away everything she ever loved.

Once upon a time, way back in 2016, a younger version of me ran across a brand-new publisher while seeing the sites at Wizard World Chicago. Their flagship title, Battlecats, had some truly impressive cover art, with interiors to match and a story that was part Thundercats, part Game of Thrones. The publisher was Mad Cave Studios. The writer was an ambitious upstart by the name of Mark London.

Aside from writing a sizeable chunk of the comics that built Mad Cave in the early days, he’s the writer on an upcoming title that I’ve gotten a peek at, and I’m pretty excited about it. Called Hunt. Kill. Repeat, it’s a crazy spin on the Orwellian dystopia where instead of Big Brother, it’s the all-seeing Greek gods you need to worry about. Technology has been severely limited, and any hint of resistance is met with swift, brutal repercussions.

In the time that I’ve been following Mark London, his writing has taken jumps forward at every step and across the board, in story structure & plot, pacing, and character development. The trend continues in this book. First off, we’re introduced to the gods, and they are truly a bunch of pricks. They’re fed up with humanity’s wayward nature and have decided to remind us all of our places in their world. London shines a spotlight on technology as a focus for Zeus’s anger, a fantastic step in the story when you consider how much time we spend with our eyes glued to a screen instead of (insert pantheon of your choice here… that’s me, being inclusive).

 Next up, readers meet and are charmed by Artemis. Formerly the god of the hunt, she’s stepped away from her Family for the sake of her love of a mortal artist named Julian. This is where I thought London leaned into the work. Artemis isn’t shown explicitly taking part in the initial subjugation of humanity, but there are pretty blatant hints if you’re paying attention. We go from there right into her domestic life as a wife and soon-to-be mother. She seems happy, comfortable in her choices… which, if you look back at the book’s title, is a strong hint that things will not stand. All of this is laid out to pull readers into Artemis’s world, to draw us along through the storm that we all know is coming, and to get us invested enough to want to ride it out.

Now let’s talk about the artistic team. Francesco Archidiacono, Marc Deering, and Lee Loughridge tackled this story about gods and men with gusto. Francesco’s pencils lay the foundation for a story that has to be, by its nature, larger than life. Readers move along from the mortal city of Manhattan, with all of the requisite Time Square advertisements dedicated to the Greek pantheon once again reigning over humanity, and on to the pristine & shining halls of the new Olympus. Likewise in the character designs, Francesco does an outstanding job of portraying how these old gods might update their looks for modern times, all drawn at the pinnacle of beauty.

Marc Deering’s inks solidify the look of Hunt. Kill. Repeat, bringing out all the details and nailing the aesthetic needed for this story. All jokes about inking being nothing more than tracing will not be tolerated, please feel free to see yourself out. It may be that not all artists have the touch to be inkers, but without a doubt all inkers are artists. Same goes for colorists. If pencils set the stage and inks bring substance to the world of a comic, the colorist has the job of giving it depth. Lee Loughridge dives into the world of HKR and its legacy built on what we thought was myth, with a palette full of sunshine and promise. 

Finally, I have to give a deep nod of respect to letterer Rus Wooton. Most often, when anyone’s talking about a comic, all you’re really hearing about are the writing and the art. But a good letterer is like a stylistic ninja, slipping in and out like the mist and leaving their mark on a book without announcing their presence. It’s like when you’re watching a really good movie with subtitles. The more into it you get, the less aware you are that you’re actually reading along. Wooton does a great job of laying out the dialogue without blocking the art or breaking the action of a panel, and it’s most appreciated.

Over the years, I’ve grown to  respect how Mad Cave has gone about building their house. Their latest move is a pre-order for a series that gets you all digital copies of the issues as they release, and then a copy of the trade paperback at the end. And yes, I’m already signed up on that plan for Hunt. Kill. Repeat. This action title has already shown more value in its opening issue than some of the big publishers can cram  into a ten issue run, and I’m here for it to the end.

Final Score: 12/13

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