Perhapanauts #1


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Perhapanauts #1


  • Words: Todd Dezago
  • Art: Craig Rousseau
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Rico Renzi
  • Story Title: In Media Res
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 23, 2005

Welcome to BEDLAM, where weird people (and sometimes animals) attempt to prevent too many weird situations.

BEDLAM, the Bureau of Extra-Dimensional Liabilities and Management, is a super secret organization designed to prevent (or clean up) rifts in reality. All the times children think there’s a monster in their closet, all the times you feel someone watching you from around the corner, and basically anytime we assay our fears by saying it’s just the work of an overactive imagination, well, all those things are really just rifts in reality. And bad things come through those rifts. So BEDLAM was set up to protect the world from having to deal with the knowledge that these rifts exist. It’s a large organization, but it looks like the focus of the book will be with Arisa Hines’ Blue Team, one of the field units sent out to investigate those bumps in the night. Of course, when some of the team themselves have caused those same bumps in the night, well, not everything runs so smoothly.

As an introductory issue, this book does what it’s supposed to do. We learn of the company and team through Guy the janitor, our narrator through this tale. By keeping the narrator as a side character in the story, the reader is given full disclosure of the main characters, and the fact that it is told by such a simple person with simple ideas, it’s almost as if the team’s loving uncle is talking about them. Of course, most times old uncles aren’t the greatest storytellers and this case is no different. From the outset this story seems to be rich in imagination: interesting idea, interesting characters, etc. But once you start going through it, it turns out that everything is woefully underdeveloped. Each character is given about a line of description to introduce them. And one of them is simply describes as being "a mystery." Not only that, the reader is never given enough chance to see why he is a mystery. This holds true for the other characters as well. In fact, the only character that should be any fun to read is going to be Choopie, the Chupacabra (yes, that is his name). The pacing isn’t bad and the dialogue serves its purpose, leaving me with hope that in time, the characterization will improve.

For the artwork, Craig Rousseau never really pushes the envelope. That’s not to say that the artwork is bad in any way. It remains simple and clean. The linework is never too detailed, but one gets the idea that it isn’t supposed to be. Each character is designed to match the descriptions given in the book, with Choopie once again being the best. Rather than go into a realistic look, or travel too far the other way into cartooniness, Rousseau instead splits the difference with an iconic look that has heavy influences from Bruce Timm. He keeps up with the pacing rather easily, and the reader will never be confused as to what he is seeing and although his action scenes aren’t the best rendered the reader can still easily follow them.

For all its faults, The Perhapanauts still shows some promise. If the creators can start to develop the characters a little more and make everything else in the book match the imagination of the basis it will be worth it. As of right now though, Choopie is the only one that I would come back for.

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