Review – MediSIN #1 (Action Lab)

Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment (Danger Zone)
Writer(s): Jeff Dyer, Mark McKeon
Artwork: David Brama, Joaquin Pereyra (colours)
Release Date: 10th May 2017

Health care for super villains.  That’s the premise behind MediSIN, the latest title from Action Lab’s “Danger Zone” imprint, on sale this week.

Given the physical beatings bad guys frequently suffer at the hands of Earth’s mightiest heroes, it stands to reason that they’re occasionally going to need some serious medical attention.  This intriguing new series explores that idea, introducing us to the unwilling group of physicians who find themselves forced to administer aid for the worst of the worst.

The story is based around Ethan Sharp, a gifted doctor whose grandfather was one of the founding members of one of the world’s most notorious villain groups, and who finds himself – like the rest of his colleagues – blackmailed by evil mastermind Malady into helping the latest incarnation of the same group patch themselves up.

Right from the start, co-writers Jeff Dyer and Mark McKeon take great pleasure in presenting us with the real consequences of hero-on-villain violence, consequences that we don’t always see in comic books.  Fractures, contusions, concussions, collapsed lungs – suffice to say there aren’t a lot of “wham!” or “ka-pow!” sound effects here, folks.

It’s a unique approach, and by focusing on the medics themselves rather than the villains, Dyer and McKeon give the book a relatability that’s sometimes lacking in straight-up capes and cowls fare.  Yes, there’s the occasionally clunky line of dialogue, and some of the exposition is a little unwieldy, but this first issue does an admirable job of setting out the premise of the series, drawing the reader in and making them want to find out what happens next.

Visually, David Brama does a good job of capturing the familiar large-scale superhero combat shenanigans, but he adds a little edge to the sanitised, glossy style that frequently goes hand in hand with cape comics, and fully embraces the ‘blood and guts’ nature of the story.  His level of detail suffers occasionally, but the overall aesthetic is an enjoyable one, and Joaquin Pereyra’s restrained colour palette helps to emphasise the tone, as well as providing a clear distinction between the flashback sequences and those set in the present day.

The premise is great, the characters are interesting enough to care about, and there are more than enough intriguing subplots introduced here to make the prospect of picking up the second issue sound pretty damn appealing.  Sure it’s a little rough around the edges, but MediSIN’s mix of human drama and unapologetically realistic superhero combat makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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