Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Zed 1 & 2 Review

By Michel Gagne
Gagne International Press $2.95 each

Something about a cute and desperate alien on the cover of a comic book really draws a girl in. No alien is more adorable and more desperate than Zed is on the cover of Zed #1. Something about the little guy makes the reader want to scoop him up, give him a big hug and solve all his problems.

The reader spends much of Zed #1 and #2 feeling this way. In these issues Gagne introduces us to Zed from the planet Gallos, an unlucky inventor. Zed’s invention, the Energizer, a device that turns rocks into battery cells, malfunctions and blows up the planet Xandria. The explosion kills everyone on the planet except for Zed, of course. Zed races back to Gallos to speak to the Emperor about the horrible accident. Meanwhile, other races on rival planets begin plotting retaliations for Zed’s grave mistake.

The story of Zed isn’t a new one, but it is how Gagne portrays emotion in Zed that makes the book shine. While the words describing Zed’s emotions might be simple, the look on Zed’s face is more complex. He lets us now exactly how he feels. He isn’t just sad, but is anguished and consumed with guilt. The depth of facial expressions is very impressive.

Gagne’s art is definitely the star of the show here. Previously he worked on the animated feature Osmosis Jones and the same style is employed here. Many of the aliens are long and lanky and look a lot like Osmosis. Some of the aliens are gnarlier too and have multiple eyeballs or gangly teeth. There is a lot of variety in the creatures and environments giving the book lasting impact.

The first two issues of Zed lend promise to the series. Issues 6 and 7 are scheduled for 2005 release and more will probably be planned. The story and especially Zed’s universe still has many avenues to explore. There is just so much more for Gagne to examine and this is a great start.

Bottom Line: A


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