Review by: Ra’Chaun Rogers
This month I picked up a copy of Askari Hodari,the original graphic novel by Glenn Brewer. This one’s a gritty tale of vigilante justice that reminded me of a less polished version of Bendis and Maleev’s Daredevil. It’s time to sit back and strap in for another edition of Comics in Color; I hope you’ve missed me.
Askari Hodari begins with an opening narration that is expository, letting the reader know part of the history of the organization and its relation to the city of New Buscoll, where they reside. The main character, Dietrick Romellus, talks us through his historical relationship with the town and the role of the organization he leads, Askari Hodari. After his interaction with a local lawyer named Lorraine ends in rejection (on account of him being a janitor), we get introduced to another AH member Haki. As he and Dietrick spar a couple of rounds, we learn another portion of Askari history and afterwards there is more conversation about the current state of affairs of the city. After the third and final member Angel is introduced to the audience, we’re made privy to the seedy underbelly of the city in its various forms. We also learn that most of these forms are just arms of a very large octopus one which has designs on corporate America.
I am going to start out by prasing this book for its art style. While not the best drawn it does make a good attempt at realism and Brewer’s static illustrations make great portraits. The dynamic panels however are a little stiff causing some of the fight scenes to look less fluid than they should. Another issue is the lack of backgrounds, which cause this reader at least to question where the character was in relation to everything else.
The writing for the story isn’t anything amazing but still entertaining enough to keep the pages turning. This is probably due to the air of mystery surrounding the villains, one of which is a high school aged boy who is manufacturing a new and very potent narcotic. That last bit will hopefully be explained in the next installment of the series as the book ends off on a very normal note, and when I say normal I mean no explosions, no hidden reveals or anything like that. This doesn’t make the ending bad just not what one would expect from an action/crime story which usually tries to evoke some visceral reaction when they end but hope to continue.
Truth be told this seemed more like the pilot for a T.V. show than a comic based on its pacing and I’m mildly curious to see what Glenn has in store for us next time around.
You can pick this up from the Askari Hodari web site.