The Steam Man #1 (Dark Horse)

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 12.01.33 PM

CREDIT: Dark Horse

Rating: 4/5 – The Steam Man Against Martians, Monsters and Vampires!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

It’s the year 1899 and as the narration opens, it was four years previous that the Steam Man was built. A stories tall metal and mechanical robot controlled by humans that was built to fight all sorts of threats to the earth, including aliens obviously influenced by the martians of H.G. Wells. With a story by Joe R. Lansdale and a script written by Mark Alan Miller, The Steam Man is a fun concept that combines science fiction, horror and action for a fun and entertaining read.

Although the first part of this book explains how the Steam Man came about, there’s little history on just how the earth came to be the way it is. During the opening sequence, we see a few dead Martians sprawled on the snowy grounds with a creature that’s similar to Swamp Thing’s villain Cranius (the one with the head sewn onto a hand) watching the towering Steam Man walk by. All that’s mentioned is that one day the world was right, and then the next, everything was wrong. The wrong includes aliens, monsters and vampires. Despite a lack of history for the world, the rest of the book has the Steam Man hunting down a particular vampire called the Dark Rider.

The Steam Man puts the action first, and artist Piotr Kowalski does a nice job with the amount of action in the script. His pencils lose some details when there are close ups on the faces, but he more than makes up for it with his penciling and designs of the Steam Man, the Dark Rider and the Martians. There’s also some solid coloring by Kelly Fitzpatrick that sets the tone for all the different locales and times this premier issue covers. The Steam Man was a nice surprise and a book that I’ve decided to add to my pull list. You should check it out and see if you feel the same way!

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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