"Tales of Mr. Rhee: Those Who Fight Monsters... #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Devil's Due Entertainment
Written by Dirk Manning
Illustrated by Austin McKinley
Colored by Anthony D. Lee
2016, 24 Pages, $1.99
Comic released on January 6th, 2016
When you get into a new relationship, you find all these things to enjoy together. You can binge watch TV shows, go out to eat, murder a few demons. All the basic getting-to-know-you events. That's the stage that Mr. Rhee and Charity are in right now. It's one that seems somewhat awkward and uncomfortable for the former. He's not even used to people calling him by his first name (Michael). Charity wants Mr. Rhee to come work with her at the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group, an organization that specializes in the “permanent reduction of monsters in society everywhere.” That seems like a great group to be a part of, but there's something a bit more sinister lurking just beneath the surface.
What's great about Mr. Rhee is that he plays it straight. He can be a bit of a selfish asshole, but he does what's right. This is why his relationship status is such unknown territory for him. It's strange for him to care that much about another individual. After the events of Those Who Fight Monsters...#1, I'm not certain that Mr. Rhee is ready to go to the next stage with Charity. He's got his buddy Brad, the demon DJ, looking into Charity's employer to see if they're on the level. After what he goes through in this issue, I'm sure he's figured out a few things for himself.
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This chapter reminds me quite a bit of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with The Initiative. Here you have the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group, setting out to protect humanity from the demons and monsters lurking around, but the agents go about it in some extreme measures. This challenges Mr. Rhee's code and it's definitely not how he deals with these creatures.
You can tell that the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group is up to something the moment you meet Charity's partner, Gannon. He's too squeaky clean and nice. Plus, the guy's a grown man that walks around wearing a cape. There's a particularly brutal scene with him and a demon that reveals his true colors that's brilliantly illustrated by Austin McKinley. It takes the phrase “curb stomp” to a whole new level. Anthony D. Lee's colors make the whole thing pop.
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Speaking of McKinley's work, he's definitely got a talent for facial expressions. He totally nails Mr. Rhree with a skeptical, untrusting gaze. You can tell the man's bullshit detector is primed and ready for action. It's like he has a permanent scowl. It's perfect for the character. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, you've got Charity and Gannon with their bright smiles that you just want to slap right off their faces.
Writer Dirk Manning really pulls the overall story together with this issue. It makes you wonder who's playing who. Is Mr. Rhee infiltrating the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group? Or are they pumping him for information on the other demons he knows?
For once, it looked like Mr. Rhee found a place – and more specifically, a person – he could feel comfortable with, but he's just never going to be that lucky. He can't trust anyone and maybe he's better off alone. You've got to hold out hope that maybe, just maybe, the poor guy could find some semblance of love after everything he's been through. I get the feeling that Tales of Mr. Rhee is shaping up more like a Joss Whedon story, where love tends to put a target on your chest. The question now is who will fire the shot?