By Shawn Gabborin and Michela Da Sacco
Comic adaptations of movies or tv shows are usually never as fun as the show themselves. There have been some successful ones that have hit a rapport with audiences, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but for the most part they all fall flat. Action Lab acquired the rights to the Puppet Master franchise and has begun to put out a new series. Before groaning or judging, you should honestly just read Puppet Master #1 for yourself and reserve judgment until afterwards.
Shawn Gabborin is the writer for this series, and he has some good stories under his belt with Action Lab. The premise is very simple, some teenagers go off to a historically haunted house for some drinking and sex. Gabborin does a nice job of giving many of the different teens a voice; none of them feel like they’re essentially the same character. Even though this is an introductory issue, there are some deaths, including a character you wouldn’t think. All your favorite puppets are here to wreak havoc on these kids, and Gabborin comes up with some cool and creative kills. What really makes this book work is that Gabborin seems committed to being true to the film franchise. This is a fun first issue that should entice fans of the movies to pick it up.
The art is handled by Michela Da Sacco for this first issue. Da Sacco does a great job of helping set the mood and tone of the series with her dark art. When characters die off, she makes it look truly awesome. There is a great panel in this issue where two lovers get the chance to meet Tunneler. The panel is creepy and great at the same time; absolutely something you would see in one of the movies. Da Sacco’s art is most effective when she is allowed to be violent. She seems to just have this ability to make a death scene work. Da Sacco ends the book with an eerie image of an event that will likely trigger our other characters to freak out. As readers we should freak out as well, because Puppet Master is back and it rocks!
As far as comics go, this is a very good read. As far as comics based on movies go, this is excellent. Shawn Gabborin turns in a great script that captures many of the things that made the movies fun in the first place. The art by Michela Da Sacco is a wonderful addition to the good writing. Puppet Master #1 should make people go back and watch these movies again. Action Lab has a hit on its hands.