In which the reviewer realizes he’s old, but doesn’t give a damn.


There’s something about the sci-fi horror movies from the 1980s.  Whether it is the promise of violence and boobies, ala the R-Rated Terminator, the portrayal of future society in films like Scanners, Trancers, and Runaway, or the scare ’em tactics of Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween, those movies shaped a lot of the creative minds working in various industries today.  Zenescope Entertainment’s Stingers debuts this week, and takes the best from the above and blends them together in a way that makes me long for the days of Fraggle Rock, Hammer Pants, Eddie Murphy being funny, and sneaking out of the house to see those previously mentioned flicks.

stingers1cover.jpgIn a nutshell Stingers is about an alien invasion of what appear to be robot insects that “sting” their prey, which then turns the victim into a hybrid of the two.  As one might expect, the invaders land just outside a sleepy seaside town, which is prepping for the big summer tourist season, making the invasion intimidating but manageable by our heroes.

The heroes in the story are Brian “Hawk” Hawkins, an Atlantic City bounty hunter, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the television character with the same name, and the rather hot female sheriff of Sea Isle City, who I bet will follow the troupes of the genre by revealing a troubled past, a son, and a deceased husband in future issues.  Issue #1 introduces us to Hawk, who’s tired of the chase, and desires to retire, while at the same time being driven by the loss of a loved one.  If the series follows the plot points of 80s finest, the two will fall in love, with Hawk realizing at the end of the series, that Sea Isle and the hot sheriff can bring him happiness.

Stingers #1 is a pure set up issue, where readers find out who the protagonists are, a bit of information on the antagonists, and leads everyone through the first act.  Sure it may be a bit pedestrian on the surface, but for those who appreciate the story telling method from the 80s, Stingers is like a trip down memory lane all the way down to the rock concert lyrics that foreshadow events to come. I don’t know if this approach was intentional or not, but if Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco’s continue on this path, I may have to dig out my old VHS tapes, while screaming at those kids to get off my lawn.

Wagner Reis’s art work is solid, and I like how he uses double page spreads to further the feeling I’m watching a movie from years gone by.  With the other titles Zenescope Entertainment puts out, it’s also a nice change to read a title that doesn’t feature half naked women or presents gory violence for gore’s sake.

Could Stingers be turned into a movie?  If Hollywood can bring Virus to the screen there’s no reason why Stingers wouldn’t succeed at a Saturday Night Direct to DVD Slumber Party.  Do kids these days still have slumber parties?  Go ahead and make your “you’re old” jokes now.

Bottom Line
Stingers #1 isn’t going to be a ground breaking series that cracks the comic industry in two, ushering in a whole new method of story telling.  It is an enjoyable diversion from superhero comics, and for those wanting to relive their childhood, Stingers #1 is worth the time and the $2.99.  3.5 out of 5 Stars for Stingers #1.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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