"Enormous #7" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by 215 Ink
Written by Tim Daniel
Illustrated by Mehdi Cheggour
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 22nd, 2015
If I've learned anything from the various post-apocalyptic stories that have come across my desk, it's that humanity is the real monster. The world could be decimated by radioactive vampires from space and we'd still be fighting each other over cans of beans at Wal-Mart. Such is the case in Enormous as the book begins its second story arc. Ellen Grace manages to survive her trip through Phoenix, while gigantic mutant animals ravaged the city. Now she finds herself in the desert, searching for sanctuary in the form of an abandoned missile silo, but she needs to get past a roving group of bandits first.
If you missed the first arc of Enormous, shame on you. Fortunately, those six issues are collected in a trade paperback that will get you up to speed on Ellen's story and what's going on with the aforementioned monsters. The first six pages of this issue serve as a quick recap, but it's not done in a text-heavy exposition. Instead, writer Tim Daniel makes it look like a journal entry from one of the characters, interspersed with images from the first few issues. It gives you a good idea of what's already happened without boring you with minute details.
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The one bit of confusion I have about the current events of Enormous isn't from those giant monsters (we'll get to those, I promise). It's how quickly civilization crumbled. This chaos hasn't been around for all that long and yet this group of thugs has sprung up in the desert outside Phoenix, carrying heavy artillery and putting people in cages. Were they waiting for something like this to happen? Or did society fall apart so fast that these bands of deviants were able to spring up right away?
The leader of this group is a menacing individual, clad from head to toe in body armor. His face is covered by a gas mask and a helmet, shielding his identity altogether. He carries a makeshift mace that he's definitely not afraid to use. It hits someone with a loud “WHUD” at one point. You know, now that I think about it, with his entire body covered, there's nothing to say that he's a man in the first place. It could be a woman. What is certain is that this guy is a lunatic, unhinged from reality which makes him far more dangerous.
Mehdi Cheggour breathes an emotional depth into the characters of Enormous. You get the cold stare from the gas mask-wearing bandit and on the other end of the spectrum is Ellen's caring eyes as she looks on with fear and concern for a person she's never met before in her life. Meanwhile, that guy alternates between fear and anger as the Gas Mask moves in for the kill. There's a great style of Cheggour's artwork. It's unique and has a life to it that feels three dimensional. It's like it's moving.
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Where Cheggour really excels is with those incredible monsters. They are unlike anything in comics or maybe the world. These are humongous beasts that at one point might have resembled animals from our planet. Now they're hulking creatures of destruction, covered in muscle and teeth and ready to rip you to pieces. There's only one monster shot in this issue, but it's a damn good one.
Enormous returns with a more human issue that shows us once again that many of us are horrible people at heart. Given the opportunity, we can descend into chaos, ready to murder our fellow man. There are a select few that can rise above this temptation and do the right thing. Survival does not mean the death and destruction of everyone around you, especially when there are giant monsters roaming the world. Unlike your typical Godzilla story, Enormous delivers on both the human side and the monster scares.