REVIEW: Rapid City: Below Zero #1

Story: Josh Dahl
Art: Shawn Langley
Letters: K.J. Kaminski
Colors:Micah Faulkner
Publisher: Monolith
Release Date: November 12, 2014

I’m a fan of indie comics. The whole movement toward creator-owned independently funded and published work is, to me, a thing to be admired. The downside to this, however, is that for every outstanding indie book I come across, there are about 10-15 mediocre to downright bad books to keep me from getting too excited. Unfortunately, Below Zero falls somewhere in the latter continuum.

It’s not a horrible book, but it’s definitely forgettable. The story seems straightforward enough; an outsider with superhuman abilities joins the first group of people willing to accept her for who she is and of course this leads to trouble. I’m not against the lonely outcast trope, but it has to be done well for it to have and memorable effect.

The art in the book isn’t bad, either, but again, it’s not going to win any awards. The choice to not use colors and rely on stark black and white imagery ala Frank Miller, is interesting if misconceived. The limited amount of detail, especially in the character’s expressions, works against the aesthetic.

The odd thing is, there are some moments where the artwork really shines and jibes well with the story concept. For instance, as Icicle and Claw Hammer attempt to escape from their would-be grave, slowly clawing their way to freedom, fits nicely with the overall theme of the book.

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