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PopCultHQ Comic Book Spotlight – Awake #1 from Action Lab Entertainment

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PopCultHQ was given the opportunity by the awesome team at Action Lab Entertainment to preview some of their titles.  Today, we are beginning with the debut issue of Awake!


 

The story begins with a streak of light plummeting to Earth from outer space.  A wolf finds a female in the depths of the crash site.  The canine drags her to safety within a cave.  Disoriented and confused, the girl, Regn, surveys her environment and begins frantically calling for one named Operi.  We also witness a mysterious, pink, electrical glow around her hands and arms.

Writer Susan Beneville
Writer Susan Beneville

Racing to the frigid outdoors, she begins her quest with the aid of the fox.  Regn finds Operi.  This bear-like creature reminds Regn that her “mission is critical to this planet.”  This “mission” is something this girl has been thoroughly trained for in preparation for the day.  Her gift, Operi states, is that she is Dola and that she must follow the tether between you and the planet’s heart.

We are now introduced to two men out fishing on the lake.  Casual banter ensues until something begins to disrupt the water.  One of the men, Picar, appears to have similar abilities to Regn as witness to the similar glowing, electrical charges emanating from his arms, yet in a greenish tone. Using his ability, he is able to ascertain that there are fissures opening up beneath the lake’s surface.  By continuing his power, he is able to raise all of the lake water into the air, leaving the two fishermen stuff on the bottom of a dry lake.

Illustrator Brian Hess
Illustrator Brian Hess

While traveling, Regn, Operi, and the wolf Bashi, face a mountain of great proportions.  Knowing to charge up, Regn focuses her crackling powers to obliterate and reveal an entrance to a cave.  Within the cave appears a large, monolithic, ancient door.  Summoning all of her strength and might, knowing that the mysterious Gremon awaits on the other side, she uses all she can muster to blast away the stone blockade.  Entering the cavern, the heroine finally comes face-to-face with the behemoth known as Gremon.

 

 

 

Two things stand out for me with this issue:Both

  1. Susan Beneville, responsible for the story, captivates you immediately into the quick-paced, intriguing elements of the characters. She also leaves you curious as to the mission Regn is on.  For a story writer to get you that engrossed in issue one is remarkable.  Many writers begin by giving backstories and character development.  This issue jumps you right into the action and leaves you craving more.
  2. Artist Brian Hess gives such visually and enthralling artwork and design that you simply admire panel by panel.  The characters’ are drawn sharp and engrossing, and his use of strong and powerful colors (especially in the blue/pink/purple pallettes) that it is almost mesmerizing to view.

 

This premiere issue is masterfully done on all levels.  If this continues, you are surely looking at a long-lasting, enthralling series.  Look for PopCultHQ’s review on issue two, which appears like we will get more of the same rich artwork and storyline as the first.

Jason Bennett
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's senior editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. He is a big lover of coffee, cats, cooking and comics (plus all things Green Lantern). He is a strong supporter of indie comics, creators, and publishers and Chris Hardwick is his spirit animal (we don't know how to respond to that). Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett

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