Wednesday, January 6, 2016



[This review was originally published on Patreon.]

WRITER/CREATOR: Michael Phillips
PENCILS: Verlei Batista
INKS: Somjade Chuntbavorn
LETTERS: Michael Phillips
EDITOR: Ryan Carter
COVER: Fred Benes with Dijjo and Teo

Book 1: “Abducted”

The Draconis Project is a comic book series created and written by New Orleans native, Michael Phillips.  A black and white comic book, The Draconis Project is published through MidCity Comics LLC.  The series is set in a near-future scenario of environmental degradation.  It focuses on a retired anti-terrorism agent searching for a missing scientist who may have discovered the means to save mankind from a solar catastrophe.

The Draconis Project #1 opens in the year 2044.  Earth suffers from global warming caused by the deterioration of the outer layers of the atmosphere due to four decades of powerful solar flares and outbursts.  Mankind is endangered from an upcoming catastrophic solar event called the “Solaris Effect,” but the scientists of an organization known as N.A.S.R. are working to protect humanity.

Dr. Johann Svensen is one scientist who has created an important serum to protect mankind from the Solaris Effect.  After he is kidnapped, the G.T.U. (Global Antiterrorism Unit) tasks one of its retired agents, Aiden McCoy, to find Svensen.  McCoy's first stop in his search is his the city where he lives, New Orleans, Louisiana.

At the recent Louisiana Comic Con (October 17-18, 2015), I came upon Michael Phillips at his vendor's table, where I bought a copy of The Draconis Project #1.  I think my friend and fellow comic book reviewer, Albert Avilla, may have bought all the issues of the series published to date.  I wish I had bought more than the first issue, as I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Yeah, I think the adversaries and villians' dialogue to be a bit stiff and on the cliched side, but I like the bad guys because they are so thoroughly ruthless, vicious, and self-interested.  The hero, Aiden McCoy, seems like a guy who takes his mission seriously, but will make it fun when he can.  During the 1990s, Bruce Willis would have played McCoy in a movie based on The Draconis Project.

The art:  well, it looks like a combination of Jim Lee and the early art of Jim Lee/Art Adams clones such as Joe Madureira and J. Scott Campbell, with a dash of Michael Turner.  The pencil art by Verlei Batista (of the Ed Benes Studios) features crowded compositions and awkward technique, but has a strangely attractive quality.  The inking by Somjade Chuntbavorn makes the pencils look heavily crowded, which results in storytelling filled with static.

That said, The Draconis Project #1 shows that this series has potential.  I am certainly recommending it to comic book readers that support micro-press and self-published comic books.  I plan to be on the lookout for Michael Phillips at future local comic book conventions.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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