From the mind of author Dean Koontz comes the new, original, comic book series Nevermore. Find out if it’s any good after the jump!
Original Story: Dean Koontz
Script: Keith Champagne
Artist: Leno Carvalho
Colourist: Steve Downer
Letterer: Bill Tortolini
Cover Artists: Darick Robertson, Tyler Walpoe, Leno Carvalho
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
An Interesting Premise
Our story concerns one Bobby Godric, owner of a big technology empire, which originally started with a company he founded with his late wife. After the loss of said wife – Nora – Bobby created Project: Nevermore, with the aim of finding a way to travel between universes. The book opens with he and his team succeeding, and subsequently finding themselves in the fascist police-state flavour of parallel universe. The team avoid arrest, however, and manage to track down Nora and bring her back to our universe after an encounter with a giant insect-like creature. Two days later, and alternate-Nora is discovered to have terminal brain cancer, the same disease that killed the Nora of our universe. We end with several of the insect creatures rising, presumably in our universe.
This book certainly has an interesting and entertaining story and, furthermore, manages to pack a whole lot of story into one issue; for some books, the events of this issue could have been stretched out to make an entire series, but this book presses ever forward, providing ample amounts of plot and in doing so defying one’s expectations, leaving me genuinely excited about what might happen in the next issue.
Bobby Godric is a likeable and sympathetic character, and the writer manages to convey very well through his actions how dedicated he is to finding the alternate version of his wife, which is refreshingly subtle. Furthermore, flashbacks are used in an effective way: throughout this issue we witness various scenes from Bobby and Nora’s relationship, from their meeting to their falling in love and finally to Bobby mourning at her grave. These flashbacks are effective because they not only establish a major plot point, but also serve to provide more depth to Bobby and Nora’s relationship, the end result being that we as an audience care more about these two characters because we’ve actually seen some of their relationship rather than just having been told about it.
It’s not all perfect, though: for one, the rest of the Project: Nevermore team are rather underdeveloped and have nothing more than one basic trait, if they’re lucky. Secondly, the dialogue varies in quality, being passable most of the time but occasionally becoming stilted or cliché (see the second flashback scene), and at one point Godric tries to do a Kirk speech, and it doesn’t work all that well.
Above Average Art
The art is well-handled, managing to look rather good throughout most of the book. Carvalho renders the action sequences very well, and also deserves praise for creating a distinct look for the flashback scenes. It is a pity, then, that the individual locations don’t look more different; whilst one or two of the locations in this book looked distinct, a fair few of them tended to blur together, and it’s a shame that we couldn’t have got more out of the art in that area.
The last page of this issue is also a matter of some confusion for me. It depicts several insect monsters rising from the corpse of the one monster the team fought right before they came back to our universe. At least, that’s what I think it shows. Now, I presume this is in hour universe – because why would it be dramatic if it were in the other universe? – but we see earlier that only the head is brought back to our universe, whilst in this last page we see the whole body. Whatever the explanation, it left me rather confused, which is an unfortunate end to a book with otherwise-good art.
This book has three covers. First up is the main cover by Darick Robertson (making up 50% of the covers), which depicts the Project: Nevermore team running from the alternate fascist police. It’s fairly well-drawn, and is an actual scene from the book, which is a plus, but it doesn’t really hint much as to the book’s plot, and just looks a bit boring. Our second cover is drawn by Tyler Walpoe, and depicts one of the insect creatures, although it looks a bit different from what we actually see in the interior art. This cover does, however, give a clue as to the cliffhanger at the end of the issue, but once again doesn’t suggest much about the premise of the book. Finally, interior artist Leno Carvalho gives as a picture of the Nevermore team standing in their base; once again, well-drawn but a bit boring.
Worth a Look
I have never read anything by Dean Koontz before, but this book has certainly given me a good impression of his work, and it was, overall, a most enjoyable read. It’s got an interesting premise, well-executed, and it has some good art. Most importantly, when I finished it I wanted to know what happened next, and that is always a sign that a book is doing something right. As such, this book receives three and a half stars out of five.