I Thought Camille's Depiction In This Was A Little Wooden...... Ha!
Written By: Shawn Gabborin
Art By: Antonio Ontiveros, Daniel Morales Olvera
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 23, 2015
Publisher: Action Labs: Danger Zone
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Let's get back to my Just For The Hell of It Mondays obsession with Puppet Master and the mystery of who is actually killing the children at the Boudeston Institute for Troubled Tots and Teens. In the previous issue we saw that during one of Camille's attacks, that the puppets tried to stop, but failed, that Camille bled when Blade attacked her and even though I'm a big ass dummy, even I understand that wooden women don't bleed........ well, at least not red. With this big mystery going on, we also have the tasks that the demon Anapa is sending our wooden wonders on so that they can repay his kindness for not swallowing their souls and all that. It's the world of Puppet Master and from all these things that Shawn Gabborin is setting up, the world that I loved for most of my life is about to get even more spectacular. Let's jump into this issue and see if the new Puppet Master Anthony can find the real killer and if Anapa can really be appeased. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with good news and bad news. Since three kids have been murdered at the Institute, the Director decided that the best course of action........ you know, besides calling the police would be to take one of the victim's roommates and lock him up. So good news, there was another murder during his time in solitary so that kid is off the hook. Bad news, there's still a murderer out and about. Yeah, there isn't much to this scene to get us started since we know that a kid isn't the killer, but we do get a pretty fun scene where one of the newer doctors mentions a patient at another hospital he worked at named Alex Whitaker, who went on and on about puppets that match the description of the ones from the Camille urban legend that haunts this place....... and that's just an awesome callback to the original Puppet Master and Puppet Master 2 because while Alex was able to stay alive through the first movie, when the sequel began we heard that he had lost his mind over what transpired during his time at the Bodega Bay Inn. That's just the intro to our Camille story though, because we really start out with Six-Shooter retrieving some Egyptian artifacts and it's always awesome seeing Six-Shooter doing anything. Too bad some guards followed him out of the building and our six armed friend had to put them down since the men in black who work for Anapa wanted to make their suffering quite extensive. It's cool to see that even though our tiny terrors are capable of murder, they're at least against it here......... or until their next puppet master is all about it.
Back at the Institute, Anthony (The one-legged current Puppet Master) is coming out of his anti-social shell a bit when he questions a bunch of kids about their Camille sightings and this part is kind of fun because you have to wade through the bullshit since these kids are kind of fucked up and you even have to do this with Anthony's best friend at the moment since she lets us in on the fact that she's a bit of a liar. Eventually though, Anthony begins getting ready to search out the abandoned section of the hospital for Camille, but again gets interrupted by the men in black returning Leech Woman and requiring Decapitron to achieve one of the puppet's tasks. This part is pretty weird because it seems to allude to Anthony being more than he appears to be and it also has to do with Decapitron killing a young patient at the institute....... which he does, but it looks like there's way more to this story than we're presented with here. Yeah, I hate waiting for things, but I have to admit that it was awesome finally seeing Decapitron using his weapons head in this series.
In the end, the Puppets search out the abandoned section of the Institute and battle the janitor, who besides for coming off like he actually fucks Camille, also apparently remembers the puppets from when they were originally there twenty years prior and is pissed that they just abandoned his wooden lady love. As our issue closes though, it's made abundantly clear that Camille has been inanimate for a long time now....... Still doesn't make me believe that janitor man isn't fucking it and that the one doctor that our young hero Anthony trusts, Dr. Jenn is actually posing as Camille and is killing the kids for some reason. Now, that Anthony has revealed that the Puppets are working for him, I guess she plans on killing him too.
That's it for this issue of Puppet Master and I can't say that this issue is as good as the last because it does spend a lot of time recapping and has Anthony asking a lot of questions from unreliable sources..... which only kind of leads us to what we already knew, but I still had a good time reading it because of the callbacks to the film series that I live for and because it began a strange new mystery in the middle of this about what the puppets aren't telling young Anthony, that the men in black only hint at. It's crazy to think of all the cogs moving in this issue to set up the future arcs and I enjoy seeing them played out even if I'm not completely on the trolley with what they're about. The art and colors in this issue are as solid as they've been since day one and even though I've complained about Leech Woman being a little over-sexualized, I find myself not really minding anymore and I just think that this book looks great.
Bits and Pieces:
While there's enough references here to keep long time Puppet Master fans happy, I do think that this issue is bogged down by setting up too many things and even at times needing to fluff up the page count a bit. That being said though, this is still a great series and I had a lot of fun reading it and trying to piece together all the stuff that isn't revealed yet, not to mention that the art is fantastic.