Rating: 4/5 – The Puppets are Back and Better than Ever!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Back in 1989 a production company called Full Moon Entertainment came along and produced a wide range of B-level horror movies. Amongst them were Demonic Toys, Killjoy and the most popular of them all, Puppet Master. Originally released in 1989, Puppet Master was able to successfully capitalize on the easy access of video stores across the country to grow a large and rabid fan base. The success of the original Puppet Master was so strong that it ultimately spawned ten sequels! I fondly remember watching the original directed by Charles Band and became a Puppet Master fan, enjoying the camp and gore that involved a group of puppets with personalities all their own killing humans in interesting and creative ways.
Flash forward to 2014 and we have comic book publisher Action Lab announcing that they’ve acquired the license to Puppet Master and would be producing an all new series that picks up where the movies left off. Although I think the last Puppet Master movie I saw was the fourth one, I was excited to hear that a new series was going to be published. After reading this first issue my excitement hasn’t waned a bit. This issue does what it needs to do to bring new readers in, and bring old fans like myself back. Writer Shawn Gabborin uses the most popular puppets from the franchise to bring us back into the world, and although the “teenagers looking to party in an abandoned hotel” formula feels all too familiar, its still an effective way to bring us into the world and fits into the movies’ settings and history.
The art by Michela Da Sacco works. She’s able to render the humans in a way that shows their age, while at the same time giving the puppets a creepy feel. The death scenes she needs to draw are done so effectively and there’s a particular scene involving Tunneler, a puppet with a drill protruding from the top of it’s head, that’s hilariously gruesome. There are some inconsistencies in her art, like her drawing of cars for example that just seem as though she doesn’t draw them too often, but for the most part I enjoyed her style and storytelling.
For fans of Puppet Master, and there’s quite a bit of them out there, this first issue does a great job of providing a “welcome back”. The puppets Blade, Pinhead and Tunneler are all back and are all treated with the respect they deserve. I enjoyed this issue so much that I’m looking forward to seeking out the movie series once again, and trying to catch up on all the sequels I missed over the course of twenty-years! Puppet master, although firmly set in the world of horror is still a fun franchise with memorable characters. Action Lab and the creative team involved have rekindled my interest in the franchise and has me excited for what’s to come!
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture