Monsters! Start Your Engines “The Showdown: Ch. 1 & 2” (Review)
Written by: Russ Lippitt Art by: Tony Guaraldi-Brown Color by: Jeremy Rodriguez
It’s almost Halloween and the smell of rotting flesh, cheap plastic, and doorstep pumpkins fills the air. Being a huge fan of the horrifically fun holiday I love to put myself in the mood early and often and nothing gets this comic book nerd more anxious for Halloween than reading some gorific, monster themed comics. I’m starting off my Halloween on the right severed foot with Russ Lippitt’s The Showdown.
Monsters, metal, oil and fiery asphalt collide as the chosen citizens of Hell race to be among the living once again. In the first two chapters of The Showdown we are introduced to our huge cast of characters. In the first chapter Lippit does this in a very fun and cinematic fashion. Each gang gets a couple of panels and then a full page poster giving you their individual and gang names. While this approach doesn’t give us much action in the first chapter, the style and short bursts of character during these introductions was more than enough to grab and strangle my attention. In chapter 2 Lippitt continues to introduce us to Hell’s racers but seemingly ditches the pacing and style used in the first chapter. I assume it’s because these characters are meaningless and cannon fodder but it was such a fun device I would have loved to seen all the gangs introduced this way.
Lippitt’s long introduction period withhold’s the action, but this is one of the necessary drawbacks of the race genre in particular, you need a ton of space to establish the world, its rules and giant cast of characters. Luckly Lippitt keeps the dialogue entering and driving towards the books premises. The action is coming and it’s teased often through our dialogue exchanges as the racers come face to face.
If the prolonged introduction is a turn off for you do not get you skeleton in a bunch, Tony Guarald-Brown’s art is a match made in Hell as his style perfectly complaints Lippitt’s monster filled world. Brown’s character designs are especially fantastic as each monster is distinct and personable yet still retaining a sense of the classic monster designs. Brown does a fantastic job keeping the scene dark and dreary but still brining life to these literally dead characters. Jeremy Rodriguez is charged with coloring these dreadfully awesome panels and he does so with a devotion to dark and dull colors. Rodriguez’s color choice in most cases really adds to the despair of our setting but in the few moments of action and movement we have the darkness muddles the action. The Showdown implores a familiar premise with the edition of classic monsters we all love. Our first two issues are mostly introduction but act as an essential gateway to what is hopefully a much more action packed and thrilling story. Lippitt and his team combine forces to create an engaging, creative and stylistic hell that will have you seeking out this comic from beyond the grave. The art alone is reason enough for any horror fan to give an arm and a leg for The Showdown.
*You can now find The Showdown Comic HERE!
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