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Gene Fusion #1

Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2003
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Ivan Brandon
Artist: Neil Vokes(p), Jay Geldoff(i), Giulia Brusco(c)
Publisher: Beckett

Taking the slug-fest to its logical conclusion, Ivan Brandon and Neil Vokes eliminates all the semblance of plot intricacy in favor of a more visceral duel between monsters. This is not to say that Gene Fusion is shallow. Rather, it is simple and entertaining.

There's more of a sportsman-like quality than a super-hero element to the story. I'm reminded of such work as Chassis which concentrated on the adventures of a futuristic racer. Adventure rather than heroics seems to be central theme, and while there's a protagonist who may become heroic, the heroism is likely to be an afterthought rather than a goal.

The story also shows the danger of the sport to the audience. This makes them a little less bloodthirsty and more gormless innocents. The shift makes them more likeable than a typical reality television crowd. Much of the whimsy comes from the presence of a little boy who develops or has already developed a crush on the star Elyssa--one of the monster controllers. His presence also deepens what could have been a pedestrian affair.

Vokes, who I remember most from Johnny Demon has lost none of his talent. The characters exhibit a singular design and actions usually reserved for animation. The beasts and otherworldy creatures have a Muppet-like quality, and the beasts despite their toony nuances exhibit a dangerous, feral nature.



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