"Project Nemesis #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by American Gothic Press
Written by Jeremy Robinson
Illustrated by Matt Frank
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 30th, 2015
Hudson already had his work cut out for him working for the mysterious Fusion Center-P division of Homeland Security. He was essentially Fox Mulder without all the conspiracy of The X-Files. That's a little different now that there's a giant monster terrorizing small towns in Maine and rampaging towards cities. Hudson is racing to alert the authorities and get a proper response together to stop this thing and save thousands of lives which is proving increasingly difficult when the monster is RIGHT THERE.
There's a mystery at play throughout Project Nemesis. Years ago some soldiers found the remains of a massive creature in Alaska. The military has performed some experiments on it in an attempt to save lives, and a girl was grown in a test tube to serve as an organ donor to a high-ranking general. The surgery was a success, but the girl turned into a giant kaiju and now the general has an unquenchable bloodlust, so I think it's safe to reevaluate what qualifies as a success.
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The monster has grown and evolved as the series has progressed. What's really creepy about it is the face. It's not a traditional dinosaur-like skull. It's smaller and somewhat humanlike, sitting atop a thick neck bulging with orange sacks filled with explosive material. The tail is deadly, ending in three sharp spikes. It's constantly whirling about. Artist Matt Frank did a great job here.
Speaking of Frank's artwork, I want to call out the fourth page of this issue for some stellar art direction. Hudson and Sheriff Collins are fleeing from the beast in a car, and the creature is literally right behind them. There are shots of the speedometer going up as Collins slams on the gas pedal interspersed with the panels of the monster pursuing them. It gets close enough to bite the back bumper off the car before they speed away. The whole page is perfectly framed and really drives home (Do you see what I did there? HAR! HAR!) the tension and excitement of the scene.
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Unlike your average monster book, the humans aren't just cannon fodder for the kaiju's rampage. They're actively trying to get together to stop this thing. I'm not sure how long the creature has been on the loose, but in an age of smartphones and satellite links (as seen in this issue), it's tough to believe that people wouldn't already be aware of this happening. Granted, they point out that cellular service isn't the best in this area of Maine, however I do wonder what it would take for local authorities and the government to notice a giant monster tearing ass through the Northeast United States. Maybe everyone is trying to call out and networks are just overwhelmed from the activity.
The General's story is interesting, as I don't know what's going to happen. He's framed as the villain of sorts even in a comic featuring a kaiju destroying everything in sight. He's definitely changing as a result of the monster heart he's got beating in his chest. Could he go through a transformation like the girl did at the beginning of the series? Will this lead to a battle between two huge creatures? I guess I could read the novel that the comic is based on to find out, huh?
Project Nemesis is another in a growing line of titles from American Gothic Press that is firing on all cylinders. It delivers an action-packed, mystery-filled monster story that grabs hold of you from the first page. Plus, there's a panel where a guy literally gets his face punched in, and it is a sight to behold.
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