Jack Kraken is the best agent the Humanoid Interaction Agency has. Using his extranormal powers, Jack protects humans and humanoids alike from those who would kill them. Follow Jack’s adventures rescuing kids and stopping the things that go bump in the night.
First off, I have to thank my pals over at The World Of Black Heroes, for turning me on to this book via their profile of the lead character, which you can read HERE and their review of this one-shot, which you can read HERE. After reading this, I was intrigued, so I got the issue myself. And boy am I glad that I did!
This issue contains three short stories, each one written by creator Tim Seeley. The first story is RACE RELATIONS. It features Jack Kraken in action, as rescues a little vampire girl (Vampires are called “Nocturnes”) who is being held captive by Big Foot-type of creature. But first, to get to her, he has to fight ghosts. This is fun action-packed story that helps show off the status quo of the character, and how he operates, and introduces us to his sort-of partner, Charlie, a young woman who monitors him in the field and speaks to him via head-set. It also shows off Jack’s abilities, such as his elongating legs and arms. All that and, in just 8 pages, it manages to squeeze in a moral about racial tolerance. Ross Campbell is the artist on this one, and does an excellent job.
Up next is another 8-page story, THE BALLAD OF LIADAIN ORLAITH, which tells the tale of the last surviving member of an ancient supernatural race. She is sort of vampire/succubus creature, imprisoned for centuries after murdering hundreds of infants. Now she’s free, supposedly reformed, and Jack is tracking her, suspecting that she plans to return to her murderous ways. He suspicions seem confirmed when he tracks her to the maternity ward in a local hospital. There is an interesting twist in this story, which Seeley also draws. And he’s just as good an artist as he is a writer.
WHO IS JACK KRAKEN? is the final story, and it’s 12-pages long. This story takes Jack to a village in Kenya, where local farmers are having their lands attacked by beings who appear to be half-human/half-zebra. And it also gives us a little background into who he was and what kind of life he lived prior to become Jack Kraken. There are some deep themes, issues of colonialism and ownership, which are brought up in this story. Jim Terry does the artwork here, and it’s not quite as good as the art in the first two stories, but still decent.
The story ends with a hint of their being more to come. The potential there, and I definitely hope that it comes to pass, as this is a great character. Seeley also includes a collection of sketches of this character that he has done over the past 20 years since he was a child. It’s interesting to see his progression. All in all, a great comic that is worth getting. Chacebook rating: 4 STARS
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Categories: DARK HORSE COMICS