Comic Book Review: Drumhellar #1


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drumhellar_01

Drumhellar #1
Story By: Alex Link
Art By: Riley Rossmo
Cover By: Riley Rossmo
Cover By: Roc Upchurch
On Sale Date: November 6, 2013
Published by: Image Comics

What if Fox Molder and John Constantine had a baby, and that baby was a stoner? Drumhellar tries to answer that very question but seems to fall short on the execution. The story follows the exploits of paranormal detective Drum Hellar as he is trying to understand a vision he had after purposely getting struck by lightning. The book seems to be going for a level of humor found in books like Chew but misses the mark almost every time. I would attribute the bad pacing to first issue setup but this issue doesn’t seem to setup very much in the way of any memorable plot.

Where Riley Rossmo falls short in the story department he seems to compensate for it with very beautiful visuals. The environments illustrated in the book have a broad color pallet and are beautifully rendered almost like a children’s storybook. The visual storytelling is done well but seems to be held back by the pacing of the script itself. Character designs are beautiful especially in close-up panels. Each character has a very distinctive look and shape, I just wish they had better dialogue to go with their looks.

The dialogue in this book in reminiscent of a person who wants desperately to make a good first impression but comes off as trying too hard. When the characters speak, they seem to call out each other’s names as if they have only met a few times and need to remind themselves of that person’s name. I understand that this is so the reader doesn’t forget, but the plot is so erratic that if the main character’s name wasn’t the name of the book I would have forgotten it as soon as I had finished reading. It’s not all bad though some of the characters seem interesting. But the main character left me very cold to his particular struggle.

Drumhellar is a book with potential, with gorgeous art and vibrant, and dynamic colors. It’s fantastic to look at, but with very little substance under the surface I fear it may just be another pretty face.

I’m giving this title 2.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.

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