"Packs of the Low Country #1 - #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by John Dudley
Illustrated by Don Cardenas
Colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick and Mark Dale
Sixteen years ago, an invasion occurred that devastated the world. Now there are werewolves and a mad scientist in the south. Bastion gets a small team together to...you know, I'm not entirely sure what he's going down there to do. Help people? Fight the werewolves? Both?
Packs of Lowcountry hits you with a dynamite first page showing giant alien ships destroying cities. You rarely see them again. This is unfortunate because the designs are terrifying. This is some of artist Don Cardenas' best work in the book. They look like giant bugs with human skulls and tentacles flowing every which way. They're like the unholy offspring of Cthulhu and a robot skeleton.
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The focus of Packs of Lowcountry shifts to Dr. Beach, this scientist performing experiments, possibly in an effort to create some sort of super soldier to combat the invaders. His link to the werewolves and how it's affected him is interesting. Separately, these two storylines would be pretty cool, but together they don't really gel. It's not clear how they're connected.
Bastion's teammates exhibit special abilities that are also not entirely explained. Helena can shoot energy beams, which often look like a Super Saiyan from Dragon Ball Z, while Mark is a telepath. How and why they got these abilities is a mystery. On the surface, they're typical soldiers, albeit ones that seem tired of fighting this never-ending battle. All of them, including Bastion and Dr. Beach, are broken. This is PTSD of the highest order, which is somewhat expected given the apocalypse that has rained down from the sky...but seems to have mostly skipped this area with all the werewolves.
The individual characters can sometimes come through as rather disjointed, especially with the facial expressions. Everyone seems to be in a constant state of shock, mouths agape and eyes wide. Angles or poses appear awkward, as if people are bending in ways that they're not supposed to.
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Cardenas does some great sound effect placement throughout the book, especially with Helena's energy blasts. He often works the words into the artwork itself, which is a nice touch. The covers for each issue are also pretty rad, often featuring a silhouette-like quality.
I'm not sure who does the covers for Packs of Lowcountry, but they are pretty great. The first two issues are especially awesome, using silhouettes in a very effective manner.
Packs of Lowcountry has some great ideas packed within its first four issues. They're just a little disjointed and clunky. I'm curious as to how all these pieces fit together. Werewolves fighting aliens is certainly a novel premise, but I'm not certain that's the end game here. There's quite a bit to resolve in the final two chapters.