Review: Cryptozoic Man #2
After landing in jail, Jack Gimlin is bailed out by a mysterious industrialist who offers him the job of a lifetime…tracking and trapping the world’s most famous cryptids, who also happen to be portals to alternate dimensions. Meanwhile, the fur flies when Cryptozoic Man learns the fate of a loved one during a cosmic tea party.
The comic book that emerged from season two of Comic Book Men returns this month with its second issue. Cryptozoic Man is written by Bryan Johnson from a story by him and Walter Flanagan. Flanagan handles pencils with Chris Ivy taking on inks. Wayne Jansen handles colors and Marshall Dillion provides lettering. The first issue was a crazy but jumbled mess. Does issue #2 get things on track?
Alan Ostman is tumbling through space with the weird and mysterious pig-faced gentleman from the first issue. While that is going on we get a glimpse at a meeting Ostman had with a man named Mr. Thread about a possible job. Mr. Thread used to work for the government and he knows a few of their dirty little secrets. One of those is that the monsters of myth and legend, like Bigfoot, is actually beings sent by aliens to use as gateways to our world. Ostman’s meeting with Mr. Thread reveals some deep, dark secrets dating back to Roswell and the first reported UFO landing. Things are weird and wacky, but these cryptozoic creatures are the key. Can Ostman get his daughter back or has time already run out?
Johnson writes an issue, that’s for sure. I’m not entirely positive what’s happening or why, but we do at least get a few hints and clues as to what’s in play this time. This book has no editor and it shows. Johnson has some wild and fantastical ideas, but nobody is able to reign him in to present a story that flows. It’s a shotgun blast of ideas and weirdness. The brief moments of clarity are great though. This is one of the most metal books you’ll read, I’ll guarantee you that much. Flanagan’s art is the saving grace of the book so far. He gets weirder than Johnson’s story at times, giving a cosmic Jack Kirby vibe in places. It’s an extremely visually pleasing book. That’s the one good thing you can say about it.
Bottom Line: There’s a fine line between a deep story with complex moving parts and sheer nonsense. Cryptozoic Man straddles that line for all it’s worth. It still has some moments of brilliance though. If you’re a big Comic Book Men Fan (and I am strangely enough) or a fan of really, really weird monster stories this one is for you. They need someone to polish this up badly. Hopefully the last two pull things together. I’d say it’s a safe bet that this one will read much better when taken as a whole. 1.5/5