By Tim Seeley, Mirka Andolfo and Walter Baiamonte
Chaos #1, of six, feels like the start of something big while also simultaneously feeling a bit overwhelming to someone who might not know these characters or the history of this book. Thankfully, there’s a little thing called “Google” and if you type in just the right combination of words, it’ll take you to a page about Chaos Comics that started in 1994 and died in 2002. Without reading too far into it, because who wants to get caught in the Wikipedia loop, it looks like Dynamite has acquired the rights to these characters from the old Chaos line and have now put them into a series with a name that appears to pay homage to their origins. (IE: “Chaos”, if you’re not following along.)
Without using the internets, it’s possible for a person to just be plain lost with this first issue. Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Revival) does a decent job towards the end of the book at least letting you know who each character is, but there’s really not a whole lot of back ground on them. For first issues, it’s a bit of a double edged sword though. You either get way too much information or you get too little and either side of the coin can leave a first time reader frustrated and/or overwhelmed. Those that know Seeley, however, should have faith in him as a writer to bring this around and let everybody know at least a little bit of background on this larger group of characters. It’ll be tough, with only five issues to go in this mini-series, but it can be done. Plus, there’s always the possibility of this going further with more mini-series or even an on-going depending on Dynamite’s plans for this line.
On the art side of things, Mirka Andolfo and colorist Walter Baiamonte deliver the goods for a darker, horror story like this. Heavy blacks, consistent characters and even some “away from the norm” panel layouts all combine to provide a good visual read. It works, and works well. With all the jumping around this first issue does, Seeley really appears to have put the art team through their paces, giving them a little bit of everything from start to finish and giving the reader (that’s us) a glimpse of the range that Andolfo and Baiamonte have and maybe a taste of things to come.
There’s a lot here for a first issue, even with there really wasn’t any kind of in depth look at the characters. Having only a vague knowledge of Evil Ernie and maybe seeing Purgatori somewhere before really feels like, as a reader, you’re missing a lot of what’s going on. Hopefully (and because it’s Seeley, you can pretty much bet on it) we’ll get more on these characters as this mini goes on to really flesh out those parts that new comers might not yet know or understand. Regardless, it was a good first outing and another example of Dynamite really stepping their game up. It’s certainly worth checking out.