The Order of Dagonet #1
Written by Jeremy Whitley
Art by Jason Strutz
Action Lab Comics
Release Date: September 26, 2012
Cover Price: $4.99
Great Britain often knights its world-renowned celebrities. This fraternity of superstars includes names such as Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ian McKellen, and Sir Elton John. Nowadays, knighthood is merely considered a great honor. It’s not as if the recipients are actually real, armor-clad knights who are duty-bound to protect the throne in times of great peril. Or are they? The Order of Dagonet presents an event of such calamitous absurdity that Britain is forced to rely on its knighted celebrities to fight back an invasion.
In this series, the Order of Dagonet is Britain’s league of celebrity knights, although official knights consider the Order something of a joke. When a construction crew clears a forest to make way for a David Beckham monument, they unwittingly remove an old tree that locked in the Creatures of Fairie. This horde of English literary characters unleashes havoc across the United Kingdom and invades Parliament. Merlin himself sends out a desperate “Help me Obi-Wan,” dream call to three Order of Dagonet members who are located in the United States at the time of the invasion. These characters are not so loosely based on Ozzy Osbourne, Sir Ian McKellen, and J.K. Rowling. The motley crew heeds Merlin’s cry for help and separately make their way back to protect the motherland.
Order of Dagonet is an amusing twist on the ole fairy tales come to life story concept. British literature has a rich history of characters that are at least vaguely familiar to anyone who stayed awake during high school English classes. Early in the book, writer Jeremy Whitley hastily bounces between story threads, making it frustrating to follow. But The Order of Dagonet‘s premise flashes its huge potential once Whitley hits his comfort-zone with the story about half-way through this first issue.
The entire story is written with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The situations and dialogue are not quite what I’d consider hilarious, but definitely chuckle-worthy. Once I realized that I had to read Dizzy Claiborne’s lines with Ozzy Osbourne’s voice, his scenes instantly became the most compelling of the three main characters. If conjuring Ozzy is too much effort, then there’s always a secondary character hanging around who untangles Dizzy’s nonsensical mumbling.
Jason Strutz‘ artwork is eye-catching with its bold, oversaturated, airbrushed look — the whitespace on many pages even has overspray markings. I spent almost as much time admiring the art as I did reading the story. A few page layouts were overly complex, which made deciphering the action difficult. These few pages aside, the overall body of work is inspired and simply a joy to take in.
Once Jeremy Whitley gets past the clunky introductions, the British-flavored, humorous tone of The Order of Dagonet settles in for an enjoyable read. This series doesn’t take itself seriously and promises a fun romp through British folklore and pop culture. The unique artwork alone is worth the price of admission. 3 out of 5!