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(The) Army of Dr. Moreau TPB

    Todd Jordan
    Smut is good.

  • Army of Dr. Moreau, The TPB

    Published by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: Apr. 22, 2015
    Writer: David F. Walker
    Artist: Carl Sciacchitano
    Cover Artist: Carl Sciacchitano
    Purchase at Amazon

    Most people with even a little knowledge of classic novels know at least the premise of H.G. Wells' story “The Island of Dr. Moreau”: a man named Prentiss gets stranded on an island owned by a mad scientist who meshes human and animals together. David Walker takes a side step and tells the story of Prentiss as an old man long after his return to civilization and long after Wells' fictionalization of Prentiss' eye-witness account. Taking place during the early days of Germany's quest for world domination with Hitler at the helm, MI6 recruits Prentiss to make his return to the island as a guide. It is evident that the Reich is up to something dastardly by tapping into the work done by the madman from decades before, a French vivisectionist named Meraux.

    It turns out Prentiss lied about the Meraux's compound being destroyed; the Nazi's found it, are they're working on the isolated island toward creating a soldier that will terrify the enemy as well as rip them to shreds. But the soldiers they're creating are not as primitive as the Nazi's think, nor is island as isolated as they believe it to be. Also on the island lives some of the original Meraux creations, plus their offspring, and even some off the offspring's offspring, and they don't much care for the intruders or what they're meddling with. They team up with the group Prentiss arrives with (well what's left of them), and one of the members of the tribe is an acquaintance of the old man's from all those years ago. It's time to kick some Nazi skulls inward.

    The clever way in which David Walker takes a classic piece of fiction and treats it as an actual series of events to start his story is a key ingredient in what makes his script such an interesting one. He puts the main character, one who may already be familiar to the reader, and places him in an actual historic context that the reader most certainly should be familiar with, World War II. Grounding his fiction piece into a somewhat relatable time and place gives Walker's tale an element of realism that enhances reading experience. And he writes the head Nazi's character as a real prick, creating a villain you really want to see slaughtered, which makes his final scene all the more satisfying. Carl Sciacchitano's artwork utilizes strong lines and a good amount of detail, steering clear of being too busy for its own good. His man-beasts (woman-beasts too) stay away from being too absurd looking and keep more in the realm of realism as with the rest of the story…well as realistic as a comic about this sort of thing can be. And he isn't afraid to let the blood flow either, helped along by the colorist Sara Machajewski. The use bright of colors in such a darkly-themed book makes for an interesting contrast. And the minimal coloring in the flashback sections is quite helpful in the avoidance of confusion.

    Bonus material in the back of this six-issue collection includes the artist's process of turning the script into pictures, as well as some concept art. The covers from the six single issues start off each chapter, in case you were wondering, but no cover gallery. Good, we don't need it. The book is an overall great read with an interesting concept and writing that keeps you engaged. It's worth reading more than once too, so you'll get your money's worth with this one.

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