The second issue of Project Nemesis, the comics adaptation of writer Jeremy Robinson’s kaiju novel, from American Gothic Press arrives in stores today, a week earlier than expected. That could be a screw up from Diamond, but it sounds more to me like an early Christmas present. Last issue we were introduced to Jon Hudson, an FC-P Investigator who was sent into the deep woods of Maine to look into a possible sasquatch sighting and Sheriff Ashley Collins, who was tagging along with him. The two of them stumbled upon a secret government facility where something far worse than sasquatch had just escaped.
In issue two, Jon and Ashley barely survive their first encounter with Nemesis, an enormous creature born from a government experiment gone wrong. She’s on the loose and headed quickly toward civilization cutting a path of death in destruction on her way through the northeast. Meanwhile, Jon and Ashley are confronted by what appears to be an assassin named Katsu Endo, after their first run-in with the military. They learn that Endo is actually the bodyguard of General Lance Gordon, a man who has ties to Nemesis herself, and may be behind this entire ordeal. Unfortunately, Gordon provides more questions than answers for the duo, and leaves them staring down the barrel of Endo’s gun.
Whereas issue one of Project Nemesis was mostly set-up and introductory for the story, issue 2 really kicked the action up a notch. Several notches actually. Nemesis, now in stage 2, is already huge and extremely deadly. We get lots of death in this issue as she heads toward New England. Issue two also has a bit of dark humor in it, which wasn’t there in issue one, which I liked. Jon was presented as sort of a slacker, sarcastic character initially but here he’s portrayed as a normal guy who’s in over his head and scared to death. I definitely can appreciate that development, and it added a human quality to him that I appreciated. We also get a hint that maybe there’s more to Ashley than meets the eye. She seems to have a mysterious past that goes beyond the no-nonsense small town Sheriff she presents.
This was a nice follow up to the first issue, doing a lot to progress the story. Pacing is important for turning an entire novel into a four issue comic series, and Jeremy Robinson seems to have a nice handle on how to manage the flow of things. Joining Robinson on the book again is Artist Matt Frank, and his work is absolutely gorgeous. We get to see a lot more of Nemesis this time around, and while the art in issue one was fine, in issue two I was blown away. It’s obvious Frank likes drawing big monsters, and he’s very, very good at it.
You can read up on the first issue of Project Nemesis in my review here. The book is a four issue mini-series from American Gothic Press, the comic book imprint of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. Each issue has a cover price of $3.99 and ships monthly. The book is highly recommended for fans of kaiju or just monster comics in general.