I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. Crimson Society, from publisher Action Lab, should have been my perfect book. From the outset it promised a blend of supernatural and science fiction in a world inhabited by werewolves and vampires. The protagonist is a werewolf with cybernetic enhancements. This book should have been a blast. To be fair, Mike Hunau and artist Carlos Trigo delivered on these promises. The delivery, however, was merely passable.
The story follows Jack Crimson, the aforementioned cybernetic werewolf, on his quest to break his curse. We start out at the end, seeing a fully transformed Jack rip into a vampire. However, it seems to be happening against his will. The rest of the story is told through a flashback leading us up to this moment. It turns out Jack was given his cybernetic arms against his will, and these appendages have a mission of their own: to kill every vampire in the city.
It’s a cool premise, one that elevates the neverending war between werewolves and vampires to a new height. Unfortunately, the story isn’t presented very well. Jack’s internal monologue is choppy. These captions don’t read like a stream of conscience, they read like an actor reading from a script for the first time. I didn’t feel like Jack was confident in his story. This problem seems to be relegated to the captions. I thought Hunau’s dialogue was good for the most part. It falters a little only when the characters need to explain something to the reader. These couple of panels are information dumps. The story would have benefited from a little more spacing of the information.
The art in the book is excellent. Trigo’s character design really shines when depicting supernatural creatures. They strike a good blend of almost cartoonish exaggeration and viciousness that I found really compelling. His work is consistently good throughout the book and the promise of seeing more of his creature design excites me for future installments. Both the cover designed by Trigo and the variant cover by Daniel Logan are gorgeous. The variant cover might be worth the price of admission on its own.
The first issue also includes a bonus ‘issue zero’ that introduces us to the world Jack Crimson inhabits. There’s some really good material here. I’m glad that it was included, though I would have loved to see the prequel incorporated into the main issue.
Crimson Society #1 stumbles a little out of the gate. Visually the comic is right where it should be. However, the writing has some catching up to do. Crimson Society #1 will be in stores October 1st.