Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review: NUMBER 13 #3

NUMBER 13 #3
DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

STORY: Robert Love and David Walker
PENCILS: Robert Love – @Robert33071
INKS: Dana Shukartsi
COLORS: Heather Breckel
LETTERS: David Walker
COVER: Robert Love with Christian Colbert
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

The story of Number 13 that began in Dark Horse Comics Presents comes to an end. Will Number 13 be back?

Number 13 is a comic book series created by Robert Love. Love draws the series and co-writes it with David Walker. This post-apocalyptic tale is set in a world where a plague, Monstrum Morbus (the monster plague), turned most humans into mutated monsters, the Infected (“the fected”), or killed them. Only a few humans remained unchanged, the Immune (“the mune”), but, in a sense, they did become monsters, as they slaughtered the fected and effectively ended the world. The story centers on a bionic amnesiac known as Number 13 (or Number Thirteen), who is trying to recover his past.

Number 13 #3 continues the story of a war that began 60 years after the end of the world. This war between “the mune” and “the fected” rages with new battles. Number 13, the boy who was created to end it all, is caught in the middle of a battle between The Professor, who created him, and Mother Goose, the manipulative and cunning leader of a band of Infected.

The Professor and his Servators, cyborgs created to hunt and kill the Infected, threatens Mother Goose in order to regain 13 from her. Meanwhile, a Servator accidentally evolves, and 13 comes of age, so to speak.

Over the course of reviewing Number 13, I have noted that I think that this series shows the influence on creator/artist Robert Love of Jack Kirby and John Byrne (himself influenced by Kirby). While reading Number 13 #3, I wondered if this comic book is what a black exploitation science fiction movie would have looked like.

Imagine this union in the 1970s: someone willing to finance such a film, a European director, some Vaughn Bodé conceptual and design work, and a cast of the hottest “Afro-American” actors. I think the resulting movie would have looked something like Robert Love’s Number 13, and that’s a good thing.

Influences aside, I like this series. It’s big, an epic story squeezed into the tight space of a comic book page, but given range by the design and layout that grabs inches wherever they can find it. With the spirit of the Saturday morning cartoons of decades past, Number 13 is fun and imaginative beyond what is expected of it.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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