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Red Dog #4 Review

Created and written by Rob Cohen

Adapted by Andi Ewington

Illustrated by Alex Cormack

Coloured by John Rauch

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

When I was younger I insisted that I hated apple crumble –  I would complain constantly if it was there for dinner but I always tried it and then realised, oh wait, I actually liked apple crumble. This has been my relationship with alien stories where I am hesitant but usually find I like them in the end and thankfully due to Cohen’s development of the world and characters, especially Kyle, this issue has been an enjoyable read.

In this issue, Cohen expands and develops the alien races, showing the new praying mantis type that Kyle saved, who gives him a quick history lesson and warning before Kyle sets off again to save Red. Cohen, though, also shows us the social hierarchy of the race, which is meant to be the main antagonist of the comic, giving them layers and making them more three dimensional and not just a plot device. Red, we find out, is going to be roped into a fighting pit, then add in massive spiders, tentacle aliens and a stadium that would make the Romans proud. Kyle’s father, who had set out on a rescue mission for Kyle, finds out that his accompanying search party of settlers might not be continuing with the search. This story is all done whilst staying true to and enhancing, the characters. The plot moves on at a good pace and there is a real heart to the comic.

Cormack’s art in this issue, in my personal opinion, is better than some of the previous issues. It creates distinct looks for the different locales and people with the grittiness of the alien society contrasted to the sleek polished look of the humans’ suits and the robot dogs. The art and face work give a warmth to Kyle and makes you feel sorry for a robot dog (who can’t talk) when the aliens surround him, so it does a good job in my book.

Verdict:

Give it a shot. Look, at this point, you might want to wait for the trade, as this is not going to blow your mind but it is a solid sci-fi story, with humans at the heart of it. However, if you feel like you are missing out on a touching story that does a brilliant portrayal of a kid with wacky sci-fi, it’s worth a look.

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