PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of DUPLICANT #3 from Second Sight Publishing. Available Wednesday, September 22nd, the creative team for this issue features writing from Karla Nappi, art from Marianna Strychowska, and lettering from Carlos N. Mangual.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
In Shops: September 22nd, 2021
All evidence points to Robert Thunnel, head of the dangerous spiritual cult, The Asclepius Project, and Matt’s former mentor, as the responsible party for Matt’s kidnapping. Fearing for Matt’s life, Sean races to rescue him while the hunt for the mole at Regenerist Tech uncovers some hidden truths about a trusted employee.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
Throughout the first two issues of DUPLICANT, all the characters were being fleshed out in a way you weren’t always certain of the true intentions. Who can you trust? What is their endgame? Who is playing who? Issue three cranks up the intensity; shocking moments, secrets beginning to unravel, and the kidnapped Matt Travers is fighting for his life. Pieces are beginning to fall into place and the reader will find themselves nearly as curious as those from Regenerist connecting the dots to determine Matt’s whereabouts and the answer to the mystery of how organ recipient Pamela Wilton died.
Writing: Being a lover of science fiction, I nearly always want to at least give a look at any work from the genre. Even if it isn’t “blow you away” content, oftentimes there are little nuggets that contribute to the genre in a dun or unexpected way. As a math and science geek, I spend a lot of time reading the latest advancements, extraoridnary discoveries, and when things truly become science fact. All of that being said, writer Karla Nappi has impressed the heck out of me with the first three issues of DUPLICANT. It’s shocking at times how much the story draws parallels to the current pandemic the world faces today, knowing that the first two issues were made prior to March 2020. It stirs emotion from the reader. There’s a real world relatability peppered throughout the series. And it’s that emotion that makes for a fantastic draw to the storyline. I also feel we haven’t been made fully aware of all the science Nappi intends to deliver. That right there can evoke such fascination as we continue the crescendo on the path to the series finale. I’m hooked.
Art: Marianna Strychowska’s artwork has been solid since the first page of issue one. Very detailed with the characters and scenery (moreso than many Marvel titles right now), she really elevates this series. Marianna does an amazing job at using up the entire panel – the backgrounds are quite pleasing to the eyes. Many indie creators or titles work at the characters first and the background/environment is secondary, if not tertiary. It really shows a level of commitment and love for the craft. Strychowska’s surgery shots look incredibly realistic, the characters are recognizable and relatable, and I was impressed with all the different angles of the shots in the panels. Great angles, lots of depth, a true building of this world. Marianna’s color work are a treat. Not only does it help define many of the players in DUPLICANT, is sets the tone, ambience, and intensity of any given panel. Major snaps for the artist!
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual provides an attractive layout and delivery of letters, just as he has for his work on books at Dynamite and Zenescope. His placements allow for Marianna’s artwork to really own each panel, being the compliment that adds to the story and its delivery, while not detracting from the illustrations. Though there isn’t much more than caption boxes and dialogue bubbles in this third issue, there was still a lot to take on and deliver. Carlos also managed to keep the same stlye and look for the title as he did in issue two. Would love to see more projects sent Mangual’s way to really grasp the rach and range this letterer can pull off.
This latest issue gets more of Matt’s backstory through flashbacks, which provides some insight as to how things were and, ultimately, how things are shaping up to be in this world of organ harvesting. Ava’s story is shaping up to be a pivotal role. Sean’s search for the Regenerist Tech’s founder is nearing some answers and he finds himself continually working hard to uncover the mole within the company. And the man centered around it all, cult leader Robert Thunnel of The Asclepius Project, has quite the reveal that will get your head spinning.
In issue three, you really get the sense that the story is setting itself up for an explosive finale (which I believe is issue five). While reading this issue, it’s quite enjoyable seeing all the chess pieces converging on the ultimate gameboard of the advancements of science, the hope for the future, the ethical line that’s been drawn, and the shady players taking advantage of this organ pandemic. When science fiction meets science and collides with the ugliness that can arise with individuals seeking to profit off the naivety of humans, the amount of intrigue embedded throught is next-level and making for some must-have subsequent issues. After reading issues one through three, you’ll be so hooked and excited to know just what Karla, Marianna, and Carlos have in store for the sevond half of the title.