DV8: Gods and Monsters #1 of 8
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Rebekah Isaacs
Colors by Carrie Strachan
Letters by Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by Fiona Staples
Variant cover by Jim Lee
Release date: April 21, 2010
I never read an issue of the original DV8 series, released in the mid 90’s, but I’ll read anything by Brian Wood, so I gave this one a try. The original series rode the wave of Gen 13’s popularity, and featured a bunch of morally bankrupt teens, and that’s about all I know about the original series. This new series keeps the original cast, but throws them in a completely new situation.
DV8: Gods and Monsters #1 opens as Gem Antonelli, aka Copycat, crashes onto a planet of Stone Age (or maybe Dark Age, it’s not really clear) era humans. She is the last of her team to arrive on the planet, the rest having already split up and disappeared. Only her teammate Frostbite remains to explain to Gem what has happened in the last few days. From there we see what the rest of the team has been up to, and it doesn’t look like it will be very good for those living on this planet.
The series has an interesting premise, but I think the issue is hurt because of the amount of time since we have last seen these characters. Even if you were a fan of the original series, it’s been more than a decade since these characters were last seen. This leaves writer Brian Wood with the unenviable decision of whether to spend the first issue explaining the premise and the characters from the original series, or jumping into the new story and hoping that the reader knows enough of the characters to keep up with the story. Wood chooses the second option, and I ended up feeling much like Gem; dropped into a new world and struggling to catch up with what is going on, and that appears to be what Wood was trying to get across through the visuals of the series. Wood does a fairly good job of explaining who the characters are, but I do feel like there could have been a bit more explanation. I’m sure the characters will be more fully fleshed out in the next few issues, but I still felt a little lost and I couldn’t connect to the characters as much as I would have liked to. On the other hand, if Wood had spent the first issue going into more detail about what happened in the original series, I would probably complain that nothing happened in the first issue, so I can’t fault him for getting the new story moving.
Art for the series is by new-comer Rebekah Isaacs. Her art, combined with the colors of Carrie Strachan create an art style that looks like it was ripped straight from an animated film. Everything is clean and bright, and it creates a unique contrast for the characters who are shown to be very morally dark. I like a lot of things about the art, and it’s a very good effort from an artist I haven’t seen much from.
Is this going to be a series worth picking up? It’s too early for me to tell. If you have fond memories of the original series, I’m sure you will want to give this issue a shot, if only to see what Brian Wood will do with the characters. Others may want to give it a few issues or wait for the trade on it, because while there is an interesting premise, I can’t tell how the series will go. I have faith that Wood will tell an interesting tale, and I was impressed by the art enough to give this issue a 4 out of 5.