FCBD 2014: Skyward/Midnight Tiger
By Jeremy Dale, Ray-Anthony Height and Dewayne Feenstra
Action Lab comics is a company that you may have never heard of unless you frequent comic conventions regularly. Their books are hard to find in comic shops, if they are even carried at all, but they have had some decent stories come out over the past couple of years. Just because they are a little known company does not mean they don’t have good material to offer.
The free comic book offering from Action lab consists of two comics, Skyward written and drawn by Jeremy Dale, and Midnight Tiger by Dewayne Feenstra and Ray-Anthony Height. Let’s start with Skyward. Jeremy Dale is writing a story that is based on the early days of civilization where two young siblings see their father die after coming back from an ambush. There isn’t really anything wrong with the writing here, it just lacks a wow factor. It all just seems pretty standard and dull in the few pages that we get from it. Things progress at a bit of a fast pace and we really don’t have any attachment to the characters that are shown.
The art, also done by Dale, is pretty good for the most part. There are a few panels where people look a bit disfigured, but overall it’s well drawn. The opening page where a man is opening the door and we see siblings Aric and Effie for the first time is a nicely drawn panel that essentially sets the tone for the story. Dale also draws the Steel Hands, a couple of generals that lead the attack on the Berserkers, as very cold and calculating men. Their look alone will give readers a sense of danger.
We move onto Midnight Tiger, a story done by Dewayne Feenstra and Ray-Anthony Height. We are introduced to several teens including Gavin, who is sick of the fact that meta-humans are never around when you need them. Feenstra tries to portray Gavin as a character readers can relate to and has the same views as the common man. This is effective as Gavin is the character that the reader will root for. Feenstra also injects some humor into the script by having well known Marvel character costumes show up in the book as Gavin looks for his own outfit.
Ray-Anthony Height is on pencils for this little preview story and he does a great job. His pencils are very clean and clear and make the story more enjoyable. Fans will like how he ever so slightly tweaked Wolverine’s and Black Panther’s costumes during an internet search in the issue. Height’s style is similar to others that you have probably seen before, but it feels new in this book. As a duo and a free comic, this is worth reading. Action Lab comics don’t really have a name recognized hero or anything like that, but they do put out some decent material that is worth a read when you can find it. So give this book and Action Lab a chance on Free Comic Book Day.