Publisher: Monkeybrain Comics
Created by: Chris Kipiniak and J.K. Woodward
Written by: Chris Kipiniak
Art and Cover by: J.K. Woodward
Lettered by: Jesse Post
Release Date: April 15, 2015
Overview: Meet Theresa Fowler… She’s your average teen-aged girl; she has a good home, loving parents, hopes and fears… She’s, also, mutating into something else. She’s becoming a raging, carapaced, super-strong creature, who has been kidnapped from her home; Theresa’s been taken to a secret location, where she’s being tested, poked, prodded and forced to live with other mutating creatures of various alien-like species. Theresa is being extorted into secret military service for the United States, in what is called ‘Project Behemoth’ – in order to keep her mind reasonably intact; if she doesn’t comply, her new handler’s will let her be consumed by whatever is changing her, and she’ll be lost completely.
The Story: I like it! Chris Kipiniak has written a solid opening-chapter to this new series, giving readers what seems to be a great new heroine, in Theresa Fowler, and a hard-nosed, demanding antagonist, Major Rayne; the leader of Project Behemoth. Plus, the other creature/beasts are sure to be extraordinary in future chapters, as they acclimate to their forced cohabitation and training; while they bond and become a team, being deployed on whatever missions Rayne has in store for them; also, as they fight the changes they’re experiencing and struggle to return to what they were – if that’s possible, that is.
And, I’m looking forward to seeing the progression of Theresa’s continuing mutation, as well; it’s sure to be quite interesting, and unlike anything we’ve seen before. How will she retain her core beliefs and her sanity as her progression proceeds? What will she become?
Now, normally, this isn’t my kind of thing, but I gave Behemoth a shot because I’ve been so impressed with J.K. Woodward’s work – (especially, in Star Trek ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ and the Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who crossover, ‘Assimilation²’); so I was intrigued by what he was working on here. I’m glad I decided to give it go. I feel like I’m on the ground-floor of something big and I’m anxious to ride this thing all the way to the top. I like the story and the pacing; I like the mystery – how this phenomenon started, where will it lead, etc.; I like the confrontational aspects between the pack and Major Rayne, that are sure to play a major-role in upcoming chapters; and I’m intrigued by the pack members, themselves. I read Behemoth expecting to be impressed, and – damned if Woodward hasn’t done it, again. First-off, I was kind of taken-aback on the very first page: Mrs. Fowler bears a striking resemblance to my older sister, Terrilyn! (I’m sure that’s a coincidence…) Beyond that, I am astounded by J.K. Woodward’s talent. His details are extraordinary, his consistency is incredible and the depth of feeling he brings to his characters (in his paintings) is just unbelievable! That said, I do have a question: If Rayne is a major, why does his collar designate him as being a four-star general? (Page 19)
Don’t let that small oversight take away from this issue, as a whole; Woodward’s work is remakable! Coming up with all of these unusual characters had to be a hell-of-a-challenge, and letterer Jesse Post had a chore, himself, in creating the ‘sounds’ for them. Between the three of them, Kipiniak, Woodward and Post moved this chapter along, quite-nicely. Overall: I’m pretty-much awed by this inaugural chapter of Behemoth! It’s a terrific debut for these comic-book vets; bringing an engaging storyline by Kipiniak, the considerable artistry of Woodward and superb collaboration all the way around. I was a bit surprised by the ‘Ages 15+’ rating, however; there’s a bit of adult language that some parents might find offensive to younger readers. As for my rating: Four stars! And, if I could buy a floppy of Behemoth, I’d definitely hang it on my wall, as it’s a great cover! As it stands, now, it’s only available in digital format. Be sure to download your copy, today; I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone