Doctor Leviathan #1 by James Matthew Banks Jr.
Sometimes my willingness to accept anything for the store gets me in trouble. Looking at that cover, I was already willing to trash this, as blood n' guts generally isn't my thing in comics, which is odd, as I'm all about it in movies. Anyway, right away this seemed different from the norm. The first five pages are giant splashes of a large group of villains standing around, looking menacing. This could be awful, granted, but there was enough distinction between these characters that made me sit back and give it a chance. The story is that a young girl has been kidnapped by a group of villains, led by a villain who apparently can't die (and doesn't mind bugs crawling all over his face), Siege. It turns out that Siege wants revenge for the death of three of his men, who were put to death after killing around 23,000 people. No, the man does not skimp on the details here, going into graphic detail of what a giant and anElectro clone (who looks like Mysterio , oddly enough) could do to a town if they were lunatics. Siege, after telling that story, sets his men on the girl and they tear her apart... but she doesn't die. In fact, nothing that they do seems to kill her, and what follows then is a pile of sheer carnage. This, finally, is when we're introduced to our hero Doctor Leviathan, but then only briefly, and we're left with a heap of questions. Look, if you're not into this sort of thing you probably stopped reading when you saw the cover. If you're willing to keep an open mind, there is potential here. Granted, James will have to work past his obsession with having everything going on in front of a featureless white background, and some of that dialogue is downright dopey. Still, his website says that he has eight (!) issues done already, so there should be plenty of chances to see where this goes from here in the near future. It may turn into a Faust clone, or it may get repetitive in a hurry. There's also the minor fact that most of that fascinating array of villains was gutted (um, spoiler alert), so I guess he's going to have to come up with a new pile of bad guys. Judging from the imagination shown in those first five pages, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.