During their short time on the comic scene, American Gothic Press (an imprint of Famous Monsters of Filmland) has released a strong batch of quality horror/creature comics, including books like vampire vs. werewolf epic Broken Moon and kaiju-heavy time-travel tale Gunsuits. Having quickly established themselves as a great resource for the monster comic fans, American Gothic Press is reinforcing its reputation once again with its latest release, Project Nemesis (written by Jeremy Robinson and featuring the art of Matt Frank), which dives into the insanely ill-advised concept of kaiju cloning and gene splicing, as well as the monster-sized carnage one would expect it to lead to!
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
Project Nemesis #1 is a lot like a kaiju version of Alien: Resurrection. Now, don’t start going all negative just yet. I know many of my fellows geeks think very little of the much-maligned fourth film in the Alien series, but the comparison isn’t in regards to quality, but plot elements. Much like how Alien: Resurrection focused on the military’s creation of a cloned, half-xenomorph Ellen Ripley and the havoc she wrought upon them, the first issue of Project Nemesis tells the story of a secretive military science unit that clones a half-kaiju (or maybe more than half) young girl and then quickly regrets this decision, when she begins to behave like the monster they created. While Robinson’s first issue felt a little predictable at times, all in all, he delivers a story full of terrifying creatures, a distinct sense of mystery, and a number of insane and interesting concepts (like a kaiju-to-human heart transplant) to excite readers and continue to explore down the road.
Frank’s art style works well with Robinson’s script, and he seems to have a real knack for expressive and emotive facial expressions. Also, as to be expected when dealing with Famous Monsters and given his previous work on IDW’s Godzilla comics, Frank has no problem excelling in the creature department. While Frank deserves a good chunk of credit for the visual success of the book, I must confess that colorist Diego Rodriguez seems to be the true stand-out in the creative team. His colors are phenomenal and seem to bring each page to life, whether he’s adding the cold chill to a snowy shoot-out, bathing a massive kaiju skeleton in the red glow of an emergency flare, or adding the green glow to a cloning chamber and the unknown fluid inside. It’s an impressive and beneficial addition to the book.
FINAL VERDICT: It’s hard to tell what the future holds for Project Nemesis based solely on the first issue (I suspect those who’ve read the novels the series is based on have bit of an idea.), but while issue #1 didn’t personally blow my mind, the first issue sets up a decent sci-fi monster tale that fans of franchises like Pacific Rim and the Godzillla film series should enjoy thoroughly.
You can find out more about Project Nemesis #1 by visiting the official American Gothic Press website. Project Nemesis #1 is scheduled to ship in October 2015.
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers!
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer