Overview

Hybrid Bastards #2

Review

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Hybrid Bastards #2

Credits

  • Words: Tom Pinchuk
  • Art: Kate Glasheen
  • Inks: Kate Glasheen
  • Colors: Kate Glasheen
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Feb 27, 2008

Our heroes begin their assault on their recalcitrant father Zeus, the police get involved, Hera gloats, daddy fumes, a Bastard quits, and...A BASTARD DIES!!!

Well, maybe.  It’s hard to tell, in a book like Hybrid Bastards!, whether anything’s going to follow conventional logic or go a more fanciful road all its own.  Which isn’t to say HB isn’t  logical—far from it, it’s wonderfully so, but it nevertheless refuses to conform, a bastard in more than just name.

In issue #1, the basic premise was established: Hera gains revenge on Zeus by enchanting him, forcing him to copulate with inanimate objects in a flurry of bizarre promiscuity, thus producing an assortment of impossible, fantastical offspring-cum-heroes.  The Bastards, then, bring themselves together, Zeus commands they all be slaughtered, and now here, in issue #2, the festivities begin in earnest!

Well, maybe.  Not really “festivities”, but more like everyone starts doing what they swore they’d do in issue #1…though the results are less than stellar (we’re talking the fictional characters here, not the comic).  The Bastards prove magnificently inept, though lucky for them, Zeus isn’t a hell of a lot savvier (he’s temperamental, but no Lex Luthor in the ol’ upstairs).  Utterly unpredictable storytelling ensues, entertainment equally captivating for its unexpected coherency and deft pace, and there’s even a surprise or two in store that truly affects.

Writer Tom Pinchuk seems to exist in that precariously perched, preternaturally potent place in his penning career, yet to establish too stock a style, his scripts running wholly on instinct and gut artistry alone, thus avoiding all cliché and overstuffed tropes, and yet he’s been around the block enough to have developed an approach that proves effective, natural, and undemanding to lap right up off the page.  His humor runs the gamut of silly to sublime, shtick to surreal.  There’s something for everyone it seems, enough touches of any given sensibility to rope in a wide range of an audience.  It’s a “different” book, sure, but a few pages in of either #1 or the latest #2, and you likely won’t be able to extract yourself from its high-thrills oddity.

Which brings us about to the art: Kate Glasheen.  She bribed me, totally, with an original page of art, but whatever, she bribed me because I bribed her first.  She rocks.  From the  samples here it’s obvious she isn’t going to appeal to the Bryan Hitch crowd. However, for those of you in love with Carlos Nine or ever artists as mainstream as John J. Muth and Kent Williams, Glasheen draws candy for the eye, and even the brain. Her pages are never laid out in any common ways, and yet they’re intuitive to follow, like the flow of water down a mountainside.  Her watercolors are as unique and incomparable as the rest, and no less appealing.

Designed via Pinchuk’s scripts and dressed in Glasheen’s style, Hybrid Bastards! becomes a thing hardly ever, ever seen in modern day comics: something unique in both story and art, something without compare in any of its elements, and yet, for all of that, staunchly, effortlessly accessible.  Originality without obscurity, sheer frivolity with a deeply sympathetic center.  Hybrid Bastards! is a triumph for Archaia Studios Press, and for the comics world as a whole.

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