The Engineer begins, as many books do, with a bald and bespectacled former cosmonaut fleeing from a giant crab creature in an otherworldly Stonehenge sort of place. It ends with a robot killing a giant chicken. Between those scenes, we see zombies fighting crabs, some extra-dimensional horrors, a bunch of angry villagers, an enormous demon bat, and a whole lot of exciting action. Not to mention the destruction of the Earth–though, of course, it’s not really our Earth, so it kind of doesn’t matter as much (I think we’d know it if our Earth was destroyed).
The Engineer offers over 100 pages of amazing breakneck action, illustrated in the most hyperkinetic way by Brian Churilla and published, with their customary outstanding production values, by the fine folks at Archaia.
The book is a true thrill-ride–a kind of Looney Tunes adventure in which the Engineer is constantly fighting, fleeing, flying, or filled with fury. We thrill as he battles a bombastic array of baddies in breathtakingly exotic locations.
It’s not the deepest graphic novel ever written, but it’s one hell of a lot of fun. Churilla’s art is reminiscent of Mike Mignola or Eric Powell at their best while never completely emulating either artist’s style. The coloring, done by co-writer Jerremy Shepherd, complements the art well. There’s a vividness and brightness to the coloring that’s exciting and compelling; it’s the perfect match for the fun comic-booky action.
And the best part? It’s between hard covers for the amazingly cheap price of $9.95. This is $9.95 worth of pure silly fun entertainment–created with enthusiasm, joy, and a real lust for action.
I realize The Engineer plumbs a few clichés. If I see another comic with a giant crab creature, I swear I’ll be sick. But I say give this book a try. It’s a great comic for the money.