Current Reviews


O.C.T.: Occult Crimes Taskforce #1

Posted: Friday, July 21, 2006
By: Ryan Pelaez

Writers: David Atchison with Rosario Dawson
Artist: Tony Shasteen

Publisher: Image Comics

My first thought about this comic was, “Rosario Dawson? Hot, yes… but this has got to be just another Hollywood gimmick.” I later find out that her uncle used to draw comics. Add that to her role in Sin City and her working relationship with Kevin Smith and you have pretty good indications as to shy she would get involved with the medium itself. After reading the first issue, I think she’s off to a smart and sexy start.

I hear Occult Crimes Taskforce, and I immediately think of Hellboy. But this comic’s different. It’s more like NYPD Blue meets horror as directed by David Fincher… or something like that.

I don’t know who this guy Travis Shasteen is but… damn. Where have you been!? This guy’s got anatomy and shadows down. He reminds me of Travis Charest… A LOT. That’s a compliment in my book. I didn’t think anyone could compare to Charest, but this guy’s well on his way. One of my complaints though is that the constant color hue got a little old after a while. I understand what they’re trying to achieve, but I hope to see more color in future issues. They should really let this amazing artist/colorist combo shine without the restraint of one strict color palette.

The pacing felt just a little off as well. The scene with the dismembered arm was a little confusing. Where did it come from? I have no idea. The book felt a tad rushed.

Captain Sercan is by far the best character. He’s believable both in his appearance and in his statements. This is a testament to writer David Atchison. Again, I don’t know what this guy has written before, but if this is his virgin jump into sequential storytelling then he’s off to a good start.

All of the demonic/monster designs were well done. It was nice to see slick monster characters that didn’t look like Venom. The various gadgets and toys come off cool and pretty original… that is, except, for the Star Wars Jedi training ball rip-off. You know every comic fan has seen that movie… why would you even try that!?

The icing on the cake is the six page O.C.T. training manual in the back of the book. It’s truly a great addition and ends in a very in-depth, informative and entertaining way. Overall, this is a very good book. You really get a lot for your money: Beautiful art, slick writing, an encompassing training manual and a fresh start to a book that’s going to blow up. Mark my words!

Favorite panel: pg. 10

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