PopCultHQ received a preview copy of BRIGANDS #3 from Action Lab: Danger Zone. Hitting retailers on New Comic Book Day, Wednesday, January 18th, the creative team for this series features writing from Ram V, illustrator Nick Barber, colorist ROSH, and lettering by Kel Nuttall.
Be sure to check out our spoiler-free review of the previous issue from last month to get up to speed:
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of the third issue of…
Writer: Ram V
Artist: Nick Barber
Letterer: Kel Nuttall
Cover Artist: Mukesh Singh
Stilian, Grizzly and Veina plan their escape from the Barren Halls prison hold. But old grudges must first be burried and new fights must be picked. Stilian Desault must overcome an impossible wall and his own reputation if he is to make it out alive and recruit an old foe, Grizzly, to his cause. Even as events in the prison pan out and a dangerous new enemy is made, far away in the Rhool desert a pious man and a soldier seek to safeguard The Myros Pendulum from the band of Brigands out to steal it…
The progression of the story in issue three continues at a great pace. There’s action, intensity, strategic planning, and a great sense of camaraderie developing. There’s even a nice amount of emotion in this issue; Veina reaching out with more than a hand to Grizzly, Stilian’s uneasiness and doubt in his ability, even emotions ranging from trust to worry jumps off the pages. The team which has assembled thus far is learning to not only work together, but slowly confiding in one another. For the greater good and overall mission. Great third issue, good advancing of the narrative, and outstanding overall appearance.
Writer Ram V is unfolding his antiquated adventure superbly. The tempo is upbeat and lively and keeps the reader engaged the entire way through. Issue three really showed a hint more emotion, but more on an internal level. Ram’s defining what these relationship are to become for the Brigands and it’s a fun atmosphere to watch in progress. Ram certainly has me excited to continue in following the adventures of this group. Issue four should be amazing!
Nick Barber’s style within BRIGANDS continues to bring a smile to my face. Quite often, the illustrations feel reminiscent of The Justice Friends from Dexter’s Laboratory, although with a medieval spin. You can tell that Nick has spent a fair amount of time researching and studying the time period, as he captures a lot of the nuances to that era. The aged look to the barrels and wheels of the time, the layout of the castle and courtyard, the armor and pelts worn; all are done incredibly well and shows Barber’s enormous contribution in depicting Ram’s tale. Loving the way Grizzly hulks and fights too!
Coloring duties are taken over by ROSH. What surprised me and caught my eye was what didn’t catch my eye. I began reading this issue without checking to see if someone new had joined the creative team. ROSH stepped in and performed flawlessly in the transition. It feels as if he wanted to try and maintain the integrity of Jason Lewis’ colors from the first two issues while adding just enough of his signature look. Though only seen in four panels, ROSH’s flashback sequence of Griz’s is quite appealing. He also complimented Barber’s illustrations very well, and on a few occasions quite profoundly. Regardless if ROSH is slated to feature colors from here out, or if Lewis is scheduled to return, no matter since both have nailed down the proper tone to this story and can execute admirably.
Lettering, once again, is sharp and well-done. Kel Nuttall clearly has nice artistic vision when it comes to layout and placement. While reading this or previous issues of BRIGANDS, play close attention to Kel’s sound effects. Not only are they accurate in their representation but play a pretty big role in the paneling. Great stuff!
Just a quick note about the art featured on the covers of BRIGANDS. Mukesh Singh has such a fantastic look on each of the standard covers released so far. He almost has that Alex Ross-type quality where the cover art is something to behold, but if it was used entirely on the interior as well, it could take too much of the focus off the writer’s story. I will, say, however, I would love to see a future issue add a two or three page side story featuring Singh’s interpretation. Perhaps even an epilogue/prologue. That could be pretty sweet!
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
BRIGANDS #3 continues the pace set in the last issue splendidly. The characters and their backstories are being explored very well. The overall presentation and delivery is nothing short of entertaining. Isn’t that what you’d want from a comic book? BRIGANDS has it in spades.
These lone rogue warriors are relinquishing their pride and working towards forming a cohesive unit. But how long will that last? Will egos come into play? And what of the next individual to join these Brigands? This is an exciting 20+ pages with a fun, bygone band of brethren. The terrific storytelling makes following along in their continued quest a true pleasure. Go pick up BRIGANDS and see for yourself. Take a trip to your LCS this Wednesday and then a trip back home to jump on into the (ancient) time of your life!
PopCultHQ’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
BRIGANDS #3 can be pre-ordered now on ComiXology,
or at your local comic shop and various online retailers Wednesday, January 18th.
Be sure to follow the creative team!