Thursday, 5 January 2017
So I Read... Animosity.
It is no secret to those who know me or who know what I have said before that I held Angela Queen of Hel in utter contempt. I read the series (all seven issues) for a review of it I wrote for digifira.com when I was part of the site; I was not kind to it. I scored it one out of five and wrote that it was some of the worst writing I had ever seen in a comic series, it is a view I stand by to this day and will never change. I was not alone in how I felt about the series either, the YouTuber Mundane Matt did a couple of videos on it where he talked about its writing and its ultimate cancellation, they were good videos and I enjoyed them. I hold no ill will to the writer of that series, Marguerite Bennett, but those seven issues I would guess have not done her any favours in the long run.
With that said, I had a conversation with one of my friends and fellow indie authors, EJ Spurrell and he recommended Animosity to me as he had been reading it. It was a funny conversation and it went basically as follows:
"Hey, you should really check out Animosity. Its a comic from Aftershock Comics and its really good," he said.
"Who writes it?" I asked.
"Marguerite Bennet," he said.
"Isn't that the writer who did Angela?" I asked cautiously.
"Yeah it is."
"Ok, why would I want to read that?"
"Because its really good!"
"No, seriously, why would I want to read that?"
"Like I said, its really good!"
I really was not convinced but none the less, I looked into it.
After an event known as "The Wake", all of the animals on the planet suddenly show their personalities as if they were concealed, they can speak like we humans do, and most show a lot of hatred towards us in the process. This leads to fighting between the two species and it is not pretty, caught in the middle of this is a young girl called Jesse and her Bloodhound called Sandor as they travel to find a safe place to live and escape the violence.
I not only enjoyed what I read, but I couldn't believe that this was coming from the same writer behind that dreadful Marvel series. It has been written with care and some brilliant dialogue, especially from Sandor when he describes how it felt for him after The Wake but I will not spoil that here. Bennett also pulls off one of the best cliffhanger endings to a comic (issue 3) that I have seen for quite a while, it had me counting down the days until issue four's release. Bennett has crafted a story where it has two main characters that I have found myself really rooting for, and she has done this without any unwanted politics finding their way in. That alone makes me praise her to end and she deserves it. The artwork by Rafael de Latorre is also wonderful to look at, especially with the looks Sandor gives from time to time and the innocence of Jesse which will no doubt play a big part in the story. The series is obviously a popular one as well as the first issue is currently on its fifth printing and that is something I haven't seen happen for a while. This series serves as yet another reminder to me and hopefully other people out there that the better content is coming out via the independent publishers; it is so pleasing to see.
What lets the series down is the same thing that I have seen happen with so many others: the variant covers and the ridiculous amount of them. Don't get me wrong as some of them are nice, but between the first four issues (at the time of writing and not including the reprints) there are seventeen different covers available and that is a silly amount to have. I understand that perhaps variants are a way to show off new talent and so on but that number really does need limiting.
I liked being surprised these days and Animosity has been one of my favourites. Perhaps it is harsh of me so say but it does appear Bennett learned a lesson from AQOH and has come up with something brilliant as a result. I have added Animosity to my standing order at my comic shop so that I do not miss an issue, I really hope it continues as I want to see the adventures of this young girl and her guardian dog.
Anyway, I must go now.
My wife is calling me to come downstairs, our Chinchilla is giving her some evil looks and is trying to open its cage door....