1…2…3…It’s Fantasy Double Feature 3

Review by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Fantasy Double Feature issue 3 Published by Four Star Studios. Digital Price $.99

Gear Monkey Written by Aubrey Sitterson and Art by Nate Lovett

Mythic Written by Phil Hester, Art by Brent Schoonover, Colors by Mark Englert, Letters by Crank! and Created by Phil Hester & Christopher Jones

Fantasy is often times subjected to a medieval setting thus when a story (or stories) turns the genre on its ear and plays with the time and/or tech, it breathes the tried and true genre of fantasy much needed fresh air.  Issue 3 of Fantasy Double Feature pulls it off in its two stories, taking the concepts and essences of what makes a fantasy story, well, fantasy with a different look to boot.  First up is the technology-blending story of Gear Monkey followed by the gods and goddesses of Mythic and throws in a tiki bar for good measure.

The fast-talking and never too far from trouble Gear Monkey from Aubrey Sitterson and Nate Lovett is a story centered on the the last of the Capu Clan and a fixer of all things fixable.  Gear Monkey and trusty companion Horatio, a rather large gorilla-like robot, find themselves in the clutches of robot air pirates.  Of course, the monkey mechanic tries to win over his captors with charm but is instead thrown overboard with Horatio and lands into more trouble.  Readers will only get a tiny glimpse of Gear Monkey’s world but what little of what is seen is enough to peak interest for more.

Sitterson is able to pull off huge chunks of dialogue-driven moments by carefully choosing words.  The bigger than normal word balloons are filled with close to rapid fire dialogue giving a motor mouth sense to Gear Monkey.  The writer also manages to sneak in a few threads of word building.  At one point in the story, Gear Monkey mentions a ‘gear witch’ which shows the blending of magic with technology, adding to the fantasy setting and possibly a future plot thread.  Lovett draws the mechanically-inclined simian equally as quick looking as the dialogue.  With the pirates, the retro design is a fun touch as evidence in their 1950s claw-type hands.  As for our favorite by far is of Horatio from his smokestacks to his old fashioned boilerplate door for a chest plate.   The writer and artist duo of Sitterson and Lovett had us at robot air pirates and giant bunny monsters.  Plus, the extras in this first comic are worth a read as readers are treated to the history of the character and the original designs.

From the creative team of Phil Hester, Christopher Jones, Brent Schoonover, Mark Englert, and Crank!, Mythic: Cloudbusting starts the way many of us want to start our days…at a tiki bar.  The crew of Mythic, known as the Mythic Lore Support, Field Team 88, were contracted on a lark to help Yosemite with a problem.  That problem in question is the drought, which usually is due to weather patterns or even global warming, but not in this case by a long shot.  Sex, yes, sex, the horizontal mambo, bumping uglies is the problem and nothing like you would have expected.  In the world of Mythic, it is the sex, or lack thereof, between Rockwoman and Stormcloud.  When Rockwoman, the avatar of the Earth goddess, and Stormcloud that of the air, get it on, rain happens (there something Freudian about this sentence isn’t there?).  How pray tell does one force the two celestial bodies together?  Well, it involves a character with the best name for a character ever, Killer of My Enemies whose head is removable.

There isn’t much that hasn’t already been said about Phil Hester as a writer.  His writing is witty, quirky and funny as hell.  Somehow Hester manages to make sex between celestial bodies the cause of rain and drought believable in the context of the story.  The characters are also charming as hell.  Artist Schoonover balances cartooning and comic art perfectly.  His design of our favorite Killer of My Enemies makes him equally fear inspiring as he is comical.

Normally, there is a clear favorite between the two stories in any Double Feature.  Fantasy Double Feature issue 3 has no winner as each story is as entertaining as the other.  It’s a virtual page turner with each genre issue building the success of the previous.  The one problem with this series is that ‘WE WANT TO SEE THESE STORIES CONTINUE ON IN THEIR OWN BOOKS!!!!!  Now take your virtual $.99 and plunk it down on the digital counter to enjoy the latest offering from Double Feature & Four Star Studios.

Feedback is always welcomed at shaun@horrorhaven.com and sharon@horrorhaven.com.  Be sure to friend us on facebook, follow us on twitter @FrightChannel, and subscribe to our RSS feed so you’ll never miss any news and reviews.

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