When I sat down to read this comic I didn’t know anything about it other than that it had a cool cover like a movie poster with a retro look to it. I always pick a comic for its cool cover and a quick blurry run through the pages is a sell for me. I didn’t check if there was a full creative team on this comic so you imagine my surprise when I realized it was solely done by one really creative artist.
Usually I would make a quick introduction about this comic but there are so many cool elements that I cannot do the usual, I have to say first what a thrilling surprise this comic is, how each page was gripping and made me anticipate the next, on how it left me with a most satisfying and entertaining feeling when it ended that was bubbling in me for hours later. I was so many times surprised pleasantly that the comic did not go the way I expected it and the arts storytelling nailed it each time. The vibe and thrill the comic gave me is similar to the one I felt as a kid when I first started reading comics and when I used to absorb each aspect of the art page after page.
Yes it’s that good that I can’t wait for issue #2 to come out and this I’m saying with a certainty that I haven’t done in years about a comic. Now that I have released my entire enthusiasm let me give credit on who is behind this great comic “Half Past Danger”.
Stephen Mooney is an artist who has worked on several comics for IDW the past several years, “Half past Danger” is his creator owned comic where for issue one he is the sole creator. Thankfully IDW has given the green light and published this comic, yet another cool decision from this comic book publisher. I’m not sure if this comic will be a long run monthly or just a set of several limited series but I would be pleased with either way they chose. Only in issue #1 there are so many elements that can be explored that the title can last for many years to come and the story will still be interesting.
The story is set in World War 2 and its central character is Sergeant Thomas Michael Flynn. Sergeant Flynn is a military man with a roguish flair to him that has the ability to know how to survive and not take risks and above all protect his team squad. So you imagine his devastation after he loses his whole squad during recognition of enemy territory on an unknown island in the east Pacific. As they avoid any kind of engagement with a Nazi base they come surprisingly across they decide to return to their base with what they’ve found, only to fall in a bigger danger. The whole team in killed except Flynn who manages to escape with the information he has found. This is the introduction and not the end of the story as it continues two months later in a bar at New York as Flynn drinks away his sorrow. What follows is more unexpected as Flynn is approached by three individuals seemingly a part of a secret organization which ends in one unbelievable visual bar brawl as Flynn refuses to speak to them.
I won’t go into details on what the lethal danger is or who the individuals are because it will be a sort of spoiler for the surprises you’ll get by reading the comic. I’ll only say some words, predators, powerhouse, master of martial arts and witty intelligence covered by femme fatale beauty …hope I haven’t given anything away.
Money has crafted a story which features elements of war action, noir settings and pulp aspects of the unknown and unexpected all combined beautifully in one issue. With realistic, smart and witty dialogues which you don’t have to read a second time to understand but you do it just to enjoy once again what has been said. He also has built a mystery based on the situations his main hero Sgt. Flynn has been in but nothing is revealed and still it’s intriguing and gripping due to the way the story unfolds with the help of the art.
The art complements and delivers all aspects of the story from the biggest to the smallest details. It’s dynamic with perfect storytelling showing action scenes in a great way from panel to panel. Each panel is essential to the flow of the story to the point that it gives you a cinematic visual feeling but only better. Also there is a good sense of humor giving a comic relief which becomes more obvious and entertaining by small details in the art which have to do with expressions, body language and small movements. Pencils, inking, coloring and lettering have all been thoroughly applied by Mooney to give a visual delight for us readers.
In general Stephen Mooney has succeeded in creating a great issue one leaving you with the best of impressions and gripping enough to want more. So I strongly suggest reading this comic. Read it from its beginning because I’m sure it will only get better and Sgt. Flynn will be the new hero all will be raving about!
I usually don’t rate a comic unless it’s necessary but for this one I will.
It’s 10 out of 10! Read this comic and spread the word on how good it is.
Con Barbatsis for eCharta