Reviews

Comic Review – Gold Key Alliance #1

  • Writer: Phil Hester
  • Artist: Brent Peeples
  • Colorist: Morgan Hickman
  • Letterer: Simon Bowland
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Release Date: April 6, 2016

Gold Key Alliance #1 by Dynamite Entertainment marks the return of Solar, Magnus, Samson and Turok written by Phil Hester with art by Brent Peeples.

Brief Synopsis

Samson is a ranting homeless man fighting monsters on the streets of Manhattan in a dystopian Earth future only he can see.

Turok is a tribal park ranger of a game preserve protecting the last living dinosaurs from poachers using a high-tech bow and arrows. 

Magus is a Diplomatic Security Service agent monitoring the rise artificial intelligence throughout the globe.

Solar is a young doctor whose is on a mission to help starving people in Africa using her powers.

The link connecting the heroes is Samson, and someone wants him eliminated. 

 

Gold Key Alliance #1 by cover Felipe Massafera
Gold Key Alliance #1 cover by Felipe Massafera

 

The Creative Team

The roster for Gold Key Alliance #1 consists of Dynamite Entertainment’s top talent. Phil Hester is the writer of the five-part mini-series. A skilled writer and artist, Hester has worked on many projects for Dynamite Entertainment including Green Hornet and The Bionic Man.  

He is joined by rising-star Brent Peeples who supplies the art for the series. Peeples provided the art for Legenderry: Green Hornet for Dynamite.  

Morgan Hickman who worked on Project Superpowers,  Lone Ranger and Lady Zorro provides the coloring for the series.

Comic readers will recognize the name of the prolific Simon Bowland, who is also lettering Miss Fury#1 for Dynamite which sees its release the same day as Gold Key Alliance #1.

 

The Verdict

This is a new take on the Gold Key classic heroes that appears to have no connection to the last Dynamite Gold Key mini-series in 2013 or past incarnations by Valiant and Dark Horse. I had some initial reservations about this series. I wanted it to build on the events from Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult . That mini-series culminated in an alliance among Doctor Spektor, Solor, Turok and Magnus but the story it felt rushed in its execution. 

Gold Key Alliance #1 manages to deftly introduce all four characters and their nemesis by the end of the issue. It is a testament to Phil Hester as a writer that in just 22 pages each character is given their moment in the spot light. None felt shoe-horned into the book.

Let the Alliance Begin…

I was particularly impressed with Hester’s interpretation of Turok compared to that in the last mini-series, in which Turok’s dialogue felt to colloquial for a Native Americans living in 1600s. This version of Turok set in the present day is noble and smart, leveraging technology to do his job as a park ranger. One of the best and understated sequences in the book by Peeples and Hickman is that of a heard of Triceratops set against a star filled night sky roaming the reservation.

My favorite character introduced is Sampson. I cannot wait until the next issue to read more about his character. I really enjoyed the Dark Horse four issue series which ended prematurely. In this issue, Sampson has all the strength and bravado of the classic Gold Key version, but with the twist that he is living in the present as a homeless man who is attacking hallucinations of monsters and robots. 

This first issue is like getting four mini-adventures in one, and I look forward to seeing how the heroes will ultimately form their alliance. I highly recommend Gold Key Alliance #1 for the tight and efficient story telling by Phil Hester and the sold art by the team of Brent Peebles and Morgan Hickman.


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About the author

Christopher Calloway

Christopher Calloway is the small press and idependent comic creator editor for Word of the Nerd. He is long-time comic book reader and collector who is passionate about comics and their creators.

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