Publisher: Action Lab (Danger Zone)
Writer: Rylend Grant
Artist: Zsombor Huszka
Colours: Iwan Joko Triyono
Release Date: 13th June 2018
I think I have found my favourite (non-Ghostbusters) book of 2018 so far!
At its heart, Aberrant is a fairly simple mash-up, blending aspects of established superhero stories like Punisher, Red Hulk, and Suicide Squad. Its brilliance however comes from the execution of the plot, characterisation and artwork and the way writer Ryeland Grant blends the aforementioned tropes together.
The story initially follows a spec-ops unit going in to clear up a hostage situation before, somewhat inevitably, things go sideways due to an assault by super-powered terrorists, with only one soldier surviving – Captain David Colbrenner.
We never get an answer in this issue if he has powers or not but he certainly has a knack for killing “specials”. This eventually leads to him being offered a place on a secret government team called Article Thirteen.
It’s hard to distil exactly what makes this book so engrossing, but it flat-out works on a variety of levels. You have visceral action scenes mixed with dialogue-heavy sections in which the personalities practically ooze out of the page. Honestly, this is the kind of storytelling that the big publishers are missing.
The artwork, provided here by Zsombor Huszka and Iwan Joko Triyono, is pretty much perfect for this story. The action is ruthlessly brought to life, the memory scenes are intentionally less clean-cut, showing the character’s feelings at the time, and the dialogue-heavy sections clean and crisp. This shifting approach is a nice subtle touch that adds an extra impact to the narrative and helps to build a greater emotional investment in Colbrenner’s journey.
Packed with action, character development and visceral artwork, Aberrant is most definitely one to watch.
The writer of this piece was: David Gladman
David Tweets from @the_gladrags