Stories that feature animals as heroes, taking up a challenge of some kind have been popular for many, many years from way before some of the most popular ones such as Watership Down and 101 Dalmatians came along. Z2 Comics,who are known as a publisher who fervently promote creativity, have entered the fray with their own dog and no pony show, with Legend #1.
The world is a desolate place; mankind’s presence is long gone, a half remembered / half folk tale that lead to the current situation. Animals rule the world. Dogs and cats survive as do pigs. As such it’s not too much of a stretch to assume that other creatures exist. Also around, causing all sorts of mayhem for the pound of dogs that features as the main characters in this issue, is the Endark. The book reads like the start of a rite of passage for Legend, the dog set to assume leadership when the Endark kills the previous pack leader, Ransom.
Novelist Samuel Sattin treats the reader to a journey into this world, whilst also allowing for some very human viewpoints and potential prejudices to come to the fore. For most part, there isn’t anything particularly new on show, the dialogue is ok, clunky at times, as there is a need to educate the reader as quickly as possible. Even the reluctant leader isn’t a particularly fresh idea. Still it is to Sattin’s credit that the writing is at least enjoyable.
What does stand out is the art from Chris Koehler. The dogs look like the relevant breed which is indicative of the quality of the work that Koehler has put into this book. The landscapes carry a sense of sadness, brought on in a large part by the color scheme used, which give the implication of looking at the world as the dogs see it. It will be interesting to see if the color scheme changes when other animals are brought into the menagerie.
With the exceptions of Animal Farm, The Lion King, Finding Nemo and the Twilight Barking featured in the 101 Dalmatians book, I can pretty much take or leave “animals as humans” stories. As a reader, I don’t need the juxtaposition of seeing real life problems broken down by cute creatures to aid my understanding of them. Still, the fact that this genre has so many classics, across various media proves that I maybe in the minority. Z2 Comics generally look to challenge readers, and here, that goal is once again reached.
Writer: Sam Smith
Artist: Chris Koehler
LEGEND order code MAR161911