Thursday, 29 October 2009

Going Backwards - Spotlight: Kup review

Picked this comic up from the Armageddon Expo on 25 October. I've been hunting around for it since the middle of last year, so when I saw it hiding behind a bunch of other old Spotlights, I had to buy it. This was Nick Roche's first full sequential comic job for IDW, and also his writing debut (See All Hail Megatron #15 and Last Stand of the Wreckers for more). Let's get our teeth into this sucker shall we? {{noises of paper being ripped and torn}}

The Art: Nick's sequential art debut is like a band's debut album--slightly alternative in taste, with strong themes and symbolism abundant. Nick fully makes use of symbolism: the sequences with Kup on the planet are drawn in a rough, scratchy way, with large shadow patches, crazy hatching and jagged panels showing the hallucinating, warped view that Kup has on the world. This contrasts with the scenes on Springer's ship, where the lines are clean and smooth and realistic. Andrew Elder's unique colors enhance this; Kup's scenes are colored in stark, semi-flat tones that are blatantly stark: yellow for day, blues and blacks for night. Springer and co.'s scenes are colored normally. All in all the art flows beautifully, with excellent use of panels and some lovely gore scenes (AWESOME!). Good job all around in this sector.

The Story: Since Roche hasn't done a lot of writing, I'm unsure as to the actual quality of his penmanship. But the story is quite cool in its simplicity, and the story flows well, and reads like a suspense/ horror movie (which it kinda is). Roche uses the frailty of Kup's mind to great effect, with devices making it very adult and scary. I mean, Kup is decapitating innocent mechs, killing his would-be rescuers and using his deactivated comrade's arm as a club. How freaky is that? The blackly funny pun, of Kup's interior monolog, shown in a panel of Kup holding Outback's arm: "He's a good kid, that Outback. Always willing to give a HAND." El mucho freak (Pity this is the last we'll ever see of the Aussie Autobot). And the blurb at the front of the issue makes a few nice references to Kup's war stories from the cartoon: "He's defeated Igyaks, fended off the Shrike-Bats of Dromedon, and remembers the day they inverted polarities..." All in all Roche gives us a nicely done stories with some clever references slotted subtly into the story. Nick Roche is fraggin' awesome.

Verdict: An extremely well-done one shot, with great plot and even better art. Nick Roche is fraggin' awesome. Bring on Last Stand of the Wreckers! Rated 10 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 10:01 pm, THURSDAY 29 October

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