"Tales of Mr. Rhee: Those Who Fight Monsters... #5" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Devil's Due Entertainment
Written by Dirk Manning
Illustrated by Howie Noel and James Reddington
Colored by Anthony D. Lee and Howie Noel
2016, 25 Pages
Comic released on March 16th, 2016
The thing about supernatural detective-type characters like Cal MacDonald and John Constantine is that they're pretty grounded. They're street-level folks that dabble with magic, the dark arts, and mystical artifacts to protect our world from things that go bump in the night. That's why it's more than a little weird to hear about Mr. Rhee heading into space in the final chapter of Those Who Fight Monsters...
The story jumps ahead to an undisclosed date in the future where the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group is preparing to battle a giant asteroid filled with demonic aliens. It turns out the two crew members, Stefani and Heather, have a secret weapon up their sleeves in the form of Mr. Rhee...or whatever it is shuffling around in that spacesuit years after his presumed death. The signature Rhee symbol etched on the side of the space helmet is a nice touch.
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Artist Howie Noel captures the essence of the character without ever actually showing his face. There are some pages where there are up to nine panels listed with Rhee only subtly moving. Even though you can't see his expression, you know it's one of contempt and a little disgust at these two P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group soldiers ordering him around. This continues to the moment he's called into battle with another perfectly framed page showing an alien beast rampaging towards him before Rhee unleashes all kinds of hell on it.
The colors from Anthony D. Lee and Howie Noel round out the issue's overall sci-fi flare. There are neon purples and a vibrant red that go well against the darkness of space. The final few pages really pop when we get a glimpse at what's under that space helmet.
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If you've read this far into Tales of Mr. Rhee, you're going to have a lot of questions. The previous issues seemed to be building to a confrontation between everyone that's important in Mr. Rhee's life. While this chapter gave us a glimpse at the possible ultimate future of the character, it's a little disappointing not to have the closure of the current story. I know that writer Dirk Manning has more planned for the character. so we'll find out what happens sooner or later. That doesn't change my fanboy need to know now.
Tales of Mr. Rhee: Those Who Fight Monsters... makes an incredible jump into sci-fi territory and sticks the landing. It seamlessly blends the supernatural elements that have made the series great with space-faring adventure and good old-fashioned alien violence. If Ripley had a magic-wielding warrior in her corner, the Xenomorphs wouldn't have stood a chance. Of course, I'm still dying to know what else went on in the present day with Mr. Rhee. Perhaps that's something we'll find out when the series gets collected.