This was originally published at Strip Tease.
Not that I’ll ever deny it, but there are times
a-plenty when I get barbs thrown my way for being a nerd—but then, I’m
thirty-five. Of course, the main protagonist of Versus. may have been
around that age when cartoons like G.I.Joe and Transformers were
actually on the air, it’s no wonder his co-workers are giving Engel a
something to be said for Buddy Beaudoin and Andrew Meigel (Meibuddy
Comics) and their approach to this inaugural issue: their fascination of
the 80s not only encompasses Saturday morning madness, but also sizzles
with a Labyrinth poster on a bedroom wall and a panel-by-panel Simple
Minds tribute. Versus. is destined for greatness, but throwing in
Patrick Swayze was a nice touch.
Our hero Engel is a cop with the Metro County Police and is soon
embroiled in some pretty heavy (“There’s that word again.” –Dr. Emmett
Brown) shenanigans by some super-shady thugs. We’re as yet unclear as to
what’s happening, but I’m betting Superpara Industries where “Science
is the New Religion” may have something to do with said malarchy.
Meigel has some pretty fantastic art reminiscent of Ted McKeever and
fills the panels up with some crazy eighties fare. Panels and pacing are
pretty perky and breaks things up nicely with full-page and smaller
story elements. Colors and shading make it hard to remember this is an
indie title. Versus. has got a trippy, heady cover with a glimpse into
something melding James Bond with The Matrix.
They’ve chosen wisely with publisher KA-BLAM, and though this is my
first experience with their product, I’d highly recommend them upon
seeing the outcome.
In addition to twenty-five great pages, there’re a few with some
sketches for future issues. There’s even a nice map of the Metro County
Public Transit with some nice nods to comic greatness past and present.
Whether or not this is a story akin to the likes of Fringe or Lost (or
something much deeper) it’s still too early to tell, but I’m anxious to
see where Versus. is headed.
As one prone to reading comics over and over again, I’ll have to
order another myself considering there’s a fingerprint marring the front
Versus. is available at Aquilonia Comics in Troy, NY, Fuzz Recordshop in Albany, NY, or directly plus shipping at firstname.lastname@example.org. Versus. #2 will be available Fall/Winter 2013.