Story by Michael Moreci & Steve Seeley with Art by JM Ringuet & Axel Medellin
Hoax Hunters is a reality show but told through a comic. Their mission? To prove all creatures of legend fake even if they’re real in order to keep them top secret as of 1947. There are several time jumps in this issue and we catch one page in the year 1961 where a metal craft with United States stamped on it crash lands in Nevada and five people run toward it (one military looking guy, two in hazmat suits, and two regular joes). Next page we flit over to Moscow in present day and people are filming a floating astronaut with crows on his shoulders. This turns out to be a feed from Hoax Hunters, starring Regan, Ken and Jack, who discuss possible explanations for his floating, like demon possession. As they research, they uncover a plot from NASA who sent a lone astronaut to see what the Soviets were up to in space. The Soviet space program was testing out an experiment with the help of one Luzhin, then a Nazi scientist who discovered a tear in the universe he planned on using as an energy source for a special kind of army. As the trio track down Luzhin and the astronaut, Regan attempts to use some kind of innate power she has but we don’t get an explanation. Luzhin gets ahold of scary astronaut and attempts to channel energy through him in order to finish the last phase of his experiment but those darned crows get in the way and Luzhin is fried, the unfortunate victim of another mad scientist scheme gone bad. The team wraps up the mystery for the show, blaming the crow astronaut as a clever ploy to draw attention away from a heist planned by Luzhin. They gather to bury the astronaut and Ken shows off some mind reading skills to gather the astronaut’s name who insists on joining them. There’s also a little preview for issue #1 at the end.
I’ve never read a comic where one artist draws one 3/4 of the book and another draws the other quarter. Luckily, I didn’t notice it too much as Ringuet does the art for the entire story and Medellin does the #1 preview. The art’s a little scratchy and it’s a bit of a departure since the last thing I saw him do (Transhuman with Jonathan Hickman) but it works for this kind of story. Usually I prefer my lines and colors a bit cleaner but like I said, it works.
This is an interesting concept and I might check out a couple more issues.
Story by Brian K. Vaughn and art by Fiona Staples
First, I’m gonna brown nose a little bit. There is really no other writer at this moment who puts out a comic and I RUN for the shelves, except for Brian K. Vaughn (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways). That being said, I didn’t notice his name because I was too busy staring at the cover of this issue. Dude with horns reminded me heavily of a video game called Catherine so I grabbed it and read it. After I realized it’s awesome-ness, I checked who wrote it and that’s all she wrote. You wanna know why BKV is a genius? He opens this comic with a girl grunting in physical exertion and she questions if she’s shitting or not (Yes, I’m a 12-year-old inside). She’s actually just giving birth and I gotta say, the subtle motion lines by Miss Staples certainly makes me cringe. As previously mentioned, new father Marko has ram’s horns while new mother Alana has a pair of pretty green wings and they welcome a new daughter jokingly nicknamed Pico who will have both. This happy moment in time is terribly interrupted by shouts from the military faction Alana has apparently abandoned and she falls into hysterics that her child won’t have a real name before the military breaks through the wall. They’re saved by the magic shield thrust up by the monkey man who sold them out in the first place, and he gives them a paper sealed with wax with his last energies. We get a bit of a flashback to how a war came about between the planet Landfall (Earth) and it’s satellite, Wreath (the Moon). Private Alana was assigned to a planet called Cleave where she guarded a prisoner (Marko) for roughly 12 hours before they both disappeared. As the AWOL soldier was tracked, it became known she married Marko and carried his child, something that is apparently monstrous and disgusting the inhabitants of Landfall. More soldiers are dispatched to bring her to justice and we see the tiny family making their way through a sewer, arguing about following the map monkey man gave them. Marko concedes to head to the place marked on it, and we see a new character, called The Will. He’s just been hired to track down Marko and bring back the infant alive. The comic closes its tale with a few closing remarks from the narrator: Hazel, the daughter of Alana and Marko.
Fiona Staples does an amazing job bringing these characters to life. With a story that just seems like it’s going to be wrought with emotion and tragedy, it’s a real challenge to show that on each face but she makes it seem so easy. My favorite panels have to be when The Will is introduced. He has a giant hairless cat companion that is equal parts freaky and cute.
Like you may have gathered, I’m quite biased toward this comic so I am going to recommend you pick it up!