Review: Half Past Danger #1
DAMES. DINOSAURS. DANGER. Summer, 1943, and in the midst of a war waged by monsters, Staff Sergeant Tommy ‘Irish’ Flynn never expected to encounter a real one. But on a remote island in the South Pacific, Flynn and his squad come face-to-fanged-face with creatures long thought dead.
A new miniseries from IDW kicks off this week with the release of Half Past Danger #1. It’s said to be a big, fun, adventure series that feels like one of the old movies from the matinee-era. The series is created, written, and drawn by Stephen Mooney. The man does it all. So is the series just a snappy title with a big movie poster cover or is there more substance to this feature presentation?
The story opens in 1943 in the South Pacific. A group of soldiers are trying to find their way through the jungles of the Pacific, but they don’t think their Sergeant knows where he’s going. The troops fuss among themselves regarding Sergeant Thomas Michael Flynn’s navigation skills when they spot a panzer rolling through. The group sneaks their way to the hilltop where they spot a huge Nazi camp. The overhang camouflaged it from the air-spotters, so no one has any idea what’s there. They snap a few pictures and take the long way around to avoid the encampment. As they march on, they’re attacked by some of the islands native reptiles. It just so happens the island’s native reptiles are giant dinosaurs! As the number of troops dwindles in the attacks, Sergeant Flynn is trying to get himself and whoever is left alive out of there. Flash forward to two months later in a bar in New York. Flynn is drowning his sorrows when a beautiful agent from MI-6 comes in looking for him. What does the US armed forces and British Intelligence want with Flynn?
Mooney writes an incredible script. This story lays out the concept, and does it well, but it’s his dialogue that shines. He perfectly captures the voice of troops in WWII. It fits in well with your Brothers in Arms and The Pacific miniseries. Mooney perfectly delivers on his matinee-era vibe. It definitely has a touch of King Kong with a lot of different genres mixed in. I have to add it has a fantastic bar fight scene. The art is absolutely stunning. Mooney presents some of the most amazing locations and backgrounds I’ve seen in a comic in a very, very long time. It may just be my eyes, but it looks like the borders and gutters of the page are slightly yellowed to give it that old feel, but the interior art is vibrant and (I know I just used this word but it fits again) stunning. You shouldn’t but you could take the words out and still have a heck of a book.
Bottom Line: Half Past Danger is all the way past amazing. Mooney knocks it out of the park with his first writing effort. The story is good and sets things up well, but the art sets it over the top. This series definitely has my attention and it should have yours as well. 5/5