Writing - 8.5/10
Art - 8.7/10
Overall - 8.5/10
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Red Agent: The Island of Dr. Moreau #2
Writer: Brian Studler
Penciler: Jason Muhr
Colorist: Ceci De La Cruz
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: February 5th, 2020
Britney and Avril are on the trail of Dr. Moreau as they visit a marketplace for the selling of endangered animals. As the agents of Dr. Moreau close in, it is only a matter of time until fists start flying.
It’s a Wolf’s Breakfast in Red Agent: Island of Dr. Moreau #2
Among the great benefits of the comic medium are the settings. Well before movies were able to display such vivid scenes, comics were the playground of those who could write and draw nearly anything. Even modern characters would be as likely to show up in Arthurian England, faraway planets or alternate dimensions. Fans of comics will usually have immediate responses if asked about their favorite setting, whether that be Kirbyesque alternate dimensions or Gotham at night. In practice, therefore, comics are not going to succeed without a strong setting. This has generally not been a problem for stories with the Grimm Fairy Tales banner. Though they piggyback a little bit on classic literature, the realms of Oz, Neverland, and Wonderland are fantastical enough. When it comes to the real world of Grimm Fairy Tales there is, maybe, not as much of the fantastic. With this series, Grimm Fairy Tales has taken on another of the Steampunk era of fiction, The Island of Dr. Moreau. This island is yet to be seen in this series, but in Red Agent: Island of Dr. Moreau #2, there is another interesting setting.
Brian Studler has the writing duties for Red Agent: Island of Dr. Moreau #2. As with the first issue, the story is not necessarily very inventive, but where he succeeds here is the novel use of setting. An international market for the purchase of wild and endangered animals is one which heroes don’t often encounter. While this is a fun change, the writing here meets the challenge. As the two main characters state at one point, they would like to teach the owner of this market a lesson. So, too, it would seem, would the reader. Thus the reader gets to live through the eyes of the main characters quite well here. Also, the animals there are well researched, with even some supposedly-extinct animals showing up.
One expects a streamlined approach to art from Zenescope and Grimm Fairy Tales, and the art team doesn’t disappoint here. With Jason Muhr on pencils and Ceci de la Cruz on colors, this fantastical world jumps off the page. They are up against some decent challenges. The melding of man and beast poses some problems, and they additionally have to get a wide variety of regular animals right. The team handles this well, and creates a slick issue.
Britney Waters is one of the more important characters to the Grimm Fairy Tales universe, though often overlooked. She was the main character in the first-ever issue of Grimm Fairy Tales. Originally characterized as a horror-story female protagonist, she changed as the series did. Originally more of a horror anthology, it quickly changed to focus on fairy tale themed superheroes, and so did she. Instead, she became a werewolf and quickly became trained in martial arts. The appeal of the character was never really there, though, or at least not compared to some of the other main characters.
Now, in her third standalone Red Agent series, it finally seems as though she might be coming into more prominence. The story here is, thus far, doing her justice, and it might be the case that there will be more series featuring her if the quality is as high as it is here.
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