[Comic Book Review] Action Lab: Danger Zone’s ABERRANT Vol. 1 TPB

Aberrant

PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of ABERRANT Vol. 1 TPB from Action Lab Entertainment‘s Danger Zone imprint. Available Wednesday, May 15th, the creative team for this series features writing from Rylend Grant, art from Zsombor HuszkaDavi Leon Dias, colors by Iwan Joko Triyono, and lettering from HdE.

RELATED: [Interview] The Creative Team Behind Action Lab: Danger Zone’s ABERRANT

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

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ABERRANT Vol. 1 TPB

Writer:
Rylend Grant

Artists:
Zsombor Huszka (Artist),
Davi Leon Dias (Artist),
Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist),
HdE (Letterer)

Cover Artists:
Zsombor Huszka (Artist),
Davi Leon Dias (Artist),
Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist)

160 pgs./M/FC
SRP: $14.99

David, a U.S. Army Special Operations Commander, distraught after losing his entire unit to a superhuman attack, wages an absolutely brutal one-man war on the eccentric billionaire and former superhero, Lance Cordrey, whom he believes is ultimately responsible. That is until Nelson Little, the head of a clandestine paramilitary outfit called Article 13, presents David with evidence that Cordrey may be a patsy, and David’s men were killed as part of a vast and twisted government/military conspiracy. Armed with this new information, David must dismantle the machine of said conspiracy piece by human piece while coming to terms with his own mysteriously emerging superpowers and wrestling with sincere doubts about Little’s trustworthiness

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
ABERRANT Vol. 1 TPB

“For the uninitiated, there’s the army…there’s special operations…and then there’s [Task Force] Whiskey-Six.

“They were the baddest men to ever walk the planet…”

It’s a rarity for a comic book to come along that can evoke such exhilaration, contain fully fleshed-out characters that are multi-layered with relatable personas, all of which somehow is crafted into an emotional thriller with shocking reveals and a whirlwind ride for the reader. Imagine Marvel’s The ‘Nam (with an updated look) meets the first Iron Man flick, with the surprising twists typically only witnessed on the big screen. The action-drama is brimming with raw emotion and more surprises and twists in the first five issues than I’ve experienced from a comic book series in a long time.

In the middle of the trade, you get the Batman-versus-Bane vibe exploding over a two-page spread which just accentuates the intense action and chaos found throughout the series. The method in which the licensed music is woven into the background and the dialogue creates an uncanny, cinematic experience. The words, the melody, it resonates in your mind while your eyes take in an intense action sequence and sets the tone for the scenes in which it is present.

Writing:

Rylend Grant has created a masterpiece of a series in ABERRANT. The narrative, its delivery, the pacing, and the intrigue issue after issue continues to impress. Taking cues from his screenwriting experience, the Hollywood scribe has established authentic characters with whom you care about or connect, a thrilling and unique look at superheroes and the threats which would likely arise, he sought out the rights to incorporate licensed music to accompany the issues, and still manages to hit you with surprises around every corner. You get the sense that many of the major players in ABERRANT are even much deeper than we’ve seen so far, with even more (perhaps complicated) mystery, hidden surprises, and loads of untapped potential. When news broke of ABERRANT being opted for a television series, not only was I not surprised (the first issue had me hooked!), but was thrilled to see it in a serial format. As explosive of a series ABERRANT the comic book is, the transition to the small screen is going to make for some stellar storytelling.

Art:

Artist Zsombor Huszka kicked off the series, providing illustrations for issue one. Davi Leon Dias came on-board with ABERRANT’s sophmore release, respecting and building upon Huszka’s initial groundwork. And boy, is he crushing it! Page after page, even panel after panel, Dias (like Huszka before him) infuses so much emotion to Grant’s narrative. You’ll feel the tension, the excitement bouncing off the pages. Colorist Iwan Joko Triyono is great with his color emphasis, but also knows to not detract Huszka & Dias’ art. His tones enhance the grittiness and highlight the mood in any setting. There’s warmth and there’s the stark, brisk coldness as stories are played out, instantly creating the environment set forth by the scenes and by the writer/artists. Letterer HdE shows the value of a letterer, as he is faced with a number of challenges and nails it every time. Fantastic placement of dialogue(s) and captions provide for a seamlessly-flowing tale. The music lyrics have been placed strategically to breathe life into each song’s words and melody. HdE has put as much heart into ABERRANT as Rylend, Zsombor, Davi, and Iwan, and it shows.

Special Ops. The Army. Enhanced, superhuman beings. Big business. A hacker collective. Human experimentation. Corruption. Political intrigue. And one man who feels he’s being played from all sides and has had enough. ABERRANT takes a practical, realistic look at what could happen if there truly were superpowered individuals on Earth? How would governments actually respond? How could these beings be weaponized or controlled? Who can be trusted? And who stands to profit from it all?

Just as SPENCER & LOCKE took the world by storm in 2017 for Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint, ABERRANT is hands-down the breakout new series from the publisher this year. Not only have five brilliant issues been released, there’s still five more on the way. And just as SPENCER & LOCKE was optioned for a film, ABERRANT will also be adapted for television with 24 producer Tony Krantz on-board. There’s a reason these titles have not only been instantly noticed, but snagged up by Hollywood…they’re looking for the next big thing. Right now, ABERRANT is it!

If you only buy one trade paperback this holiday season, either for yourself or for the comic book fan/collector in your life, make it ABERRANT Vol. 1 from Action Lab: Danger Zone. You will be impressed from the start, excited for more to come, and surprised at just what a comic book can be. Not only are you getting a hearty, five issues in one collection, you’ll also be witness to some stellar creators coming together on a passion project to create more than a comic with which to read enjoy…they have created a reading experience. This is a comic book series like no other. ABERRANT is my definitive pick for indie comic book series of 2018. By far.

5 out of 5 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating - 5 Stars
PopCultHQ Rating – 5 Stars

ABERRANT Vol. 1 TPB can be purchased on Amazon, comiXology (link below), and at your
local comic shop & online retailers beginning Wednesday, May 15th!

Comixology button

Print Edition Buy Now


Writer – Rylend Grant

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Artist – Zsombor Huszka

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Artist – Davi Leon Dias

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Colorist – Iwan Joko Triyono

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Letterer – HdE

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Publisher – Action Lab: Danger Zone

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About Jason Bennett 5381 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett