Rating: 3.5/5 – An Abrupt Ending to the Series.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I’ve really enjoyed this Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. series quite a bit. It has brought back some relatively obscure Marvel horror characters and combined them with S.H.I.E.L.D. to produce a fun comic that embraces the stranger side of the Marvel Universe. Writer Frank Barbieri and artist Brent Schoonover were a nice pairing that starred Dum Dum Dugan leading a group of Marvel monsters that included Man-Thing, Manphibian, Warwolf, Orrgo and more. My thoughts on this final issue are a bit mixed in that although the comic was a solid read, having the unexpected final issue of the series tie into the Standoff event was a bit of a let down.
First, the art by Schoonover continues to be fantastic. I love Brent’s clean lines and Nick Filardi’s colors brighten up the entire package. For a group of monsters battling it out with other types of monsters in the Marvel U., you’d guess that the art might be dark and scratchy. Schoonover and Filardi instead use a pallet that’s lighter in tone and adds even more life to Brent’s strong pencils. Seeing Schoonover’s focus on Oorgo in this issue was a nice choice in ending this series, and a full page splash that has the entire team had me wishing this series would continue on.
While the story focuses on the rescue of Orrgo, it felt a bit forced to squeeze it into Marvel’s Standoff event. Oorgo is the latest prisoner of Pleasant Hill which is now in full on break out mode. The Howling Commandos need to get in, retrieve their captured comrade and get out. There’s plenty of action in this issue with the team running into the Grey Gargoyle and Jack-O-Lantern, but unfortunately it seemed to have come out of nowhere and then end just as abruptly without seeing any backstory for Oorgo, or any of the other Commandos for that matter, now that the series is ending,
To be honest, I didn’t even know this book was ending and I expected to see some future issues where more of the character back stories were explained. If I had known this was the end my thoughts on the issue may have been a bit different, but seeing that this book has now been cancelled felt as though much of the series’ building up of characters won’t see a payoff the creators I’m sure had intended. I can’t really recommend this book if you haven’t read the first five issues, but if you see this series collected, or see the series in a dollar bin, give it a shot and see Marvel’s more obscure horror characters in a brighter light.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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