Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Anchor #1 review

The Anchor #1
Written by Phil Hester
Art by Brian Churilla
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Published by BOOM! Studios
Review by Lan Pitts

Now this is a dynamite premiere issue. I'm rarely disappointed with a Phil Hester story, and The Anchor is no exception to that rule. The story is pretty simple, yet layered in a supernatural tone that I am usually drawn to. The Anchor tells the tale of a colossal outcast who wanted refuge in the ruins of an ancient monastery and offered in return the one thing he had to give: his fists. Soon, he was transformed into an immortal warrior monk who stands gates of Hell itself to keep our world free from its invading armies. Later, he is mysteriously tricked into centuries of deep sleep, but is awoken to fight the creatures that escaped Hell while he slept.

Now the imagery is widely compared to The Goon or Hellboy, but I think Churilla has his own sort of style. He's more cartoonish than Mignola or Powell and it does a balancing act between cartoon so you can laugh at the funny moments, but doesn't take you out of the more serious, intense or violent ones. It's beautifully drawn and colored and strong composition.

I love how he is introduced to humanity, but he's so mysterious, I can't wait to read what happens next. Anchor or Clem has he is soon nicknamed (after St. Clement, whose symbol is, you guessed it: an anchor). Like I mentioned previously, some comparisons will be made between this and Hellboy. Well, let me put this way: Hellboy works for the United States government, while Clem here, answers to only God. Also, any human characteristics that HB has such as doubt, Anchor seems to be void of. He is a Divine punching machine and does a damn good job of it.

So, bottom line, give this a try. If you're into the more supernatural titles out there, this is definitely for you. It's a strong debut that doesn't let up and is a perfect addition to BOOM!'s already impressive character roster. It's poetic, intense and just fun. The Anchor has found a place in my pull box.

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