Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Kamandi Challenge #5 Review

Tiger Hunter

Written by: Bill Willingham
Art by: Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Marcelo Maiolo and Clem Robins
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 24, 2017

Every time this book pops up to review, I keep thinking the same thing...why was I so against it when it was announced?  Sure, I am not the biggest fan, but I love goofy fun and this book is just that.  Of course, the whole "challenge" part of it makes it that much more goofy and while I've seen some reviewers say that the concept keeps this book from being a true Kamandi book, I don't care what they say...I love it.  So, does this issue keep the fun train rolling?  Let's find out...

I have been waiting a month to see Kamandi and Vila involved in a kick ass version of Mad Max, but the whole driving death machine fun ends a bit too quick for that and we quickly end in more of a Castaway scene.  Okay, but not as fun.

After saving Kamandi's life, Vila goes to sleep and it's obvious this is just a device to get her out of the story for now.  Then after a very jarring non transition, Kamandi finds himself on the SS Typhoon captained by Babal Crow...who is a dog.

Again, the scene moves forward very quickly and in a couple of panels, Kamandi has gone from castaway to shipmate and then the ship reaches land.  Before leaving, Kamandi is introduced to a retired wrestler who happens to also be a tiger and a detective.  Triple threat there!

Roaring Raja and Kamandi spend a whole lot of time together, telling stories and on the case of a missing person.  It's a doctor who can cure the "weeping pox" and Raja (or Mack) was hired to find him for a village in dire need of the cure.

They are suddenly attacked and after a couple more confusing pages where they escape, but then don't, Kamandi is captured and flown away by the Bintur Horde.  When Kamandi wakes up, he is part of an experiment that will leave him dead.

While this is going on, we see Raja wake up downstream, gather his thoughts and his hat and head off to look for Kamandi.  The book ends with Raja finding Kamandi, but it already looks a but too late to save him.  It is such a gruesome page.

This was an okay issue of the Kamandi Challenge.  Bill Willingham is at the top of the class when it comes to fucked up cliffhangers and I can't wait to see what Steve Orlando does next.  That being said, the rest of the issue was very forced and very confusing.  There are multiple times where the book jumps into crazy transition mode and even without that, nothing much happens.  I still like this book, but if you read issues like this, you can skip to the cliffhanger page and not miss much at all.

Ivan Reiss and the art team do a good job this issue with the character models being the standout.  I love the look of Mack and would pay for a solo book with the long as he has something to do.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue of the Kamandi Challenge presents a crazy cliffhanger for next issue's creative team, but does little else.  The art was good, but the whole thing left me overly confused and had me wondering if I really needed to read anything but the final page.


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