By Steven Grant, Paul Gulacy and Jesus Aburto
Are you feeling like tomorrow you might want to take a ride on your hover board? Or perhaps you were thinking of placing a bet on the Chicago Cubs to win the world series? Well, how about instead of that you take your flying car to the comic shop and pick up The Rook #1 from Dark Horse. What better day than October 21st 2015 to read a comic about time travel? If you are unaware, October 21st 2015 is the date Doc, Marty and Jennifer travel to in the movie Back to The Future 2. If you are planning to fill your Back to the Future day with some time travel reading, The Rook #1 is a fine choice.
Out of the pages of Eerie comics Steven Grant, Paul Gulacy and Jesus Aburto bring you the time-travelling, gunslinging monster fighter, Restin Dane. Much like the Doctor uses the TARDIS for his time and space travelling adventures, The Rook uses his Time Castle, which just happens to be in the shape of a chess piece. I’ll let you figure out what chess piece that could possibly be. Restin is accompanied by his robotic partner MAN-RS who in this first issue is often heard but never seen. He leads off the book trying to elude a group of time displaced villains lead by the toad-like looking Mr. Lock, who is very interested in Restin’s time travelling technology. Beginning in the year 1813 the fight travels to the year 2015 where current day Restin is putting his advanced degree in physics and engineering to good use by working on the technology for time travel. However, it is Halloween night and even time travel needs a party break some times. If Back to the Future taught me anything it’s that two Restin’s in the same time and place is not a good thing.
Grant does an excellent job of bringing this classic character to life. The Rook has been around the comic pages since 1977. If you are like me, this is the first you are hearing of him. Restin Dane is a charming and likeable protagonist. He is funny, but does not come across as obnoxious because of Grant’s use of humour. When it comes to comedy, Restin is a counter puncher. Grant is able to utilize MAN-RS as well as the horde of monstrous villains to be the source of the the book’s humor. This keeps Restin funny but at the same time suave and heroic. There are a few other characters in this book but the main draw in this first issue is from Restin (both versions of him), MAN-RS and Mr. Lock.
Gulacy is able to use his style to keep the fun atmosphere of the book. Mr. Lock is drawn to look menacing and goofy at the same time. Gulacy pencils a look of darkness to the villains while bringing a strong jawed heroic handsomeness to Restin. He shines on his character work. Gulacy’s best panels are the emotional moments of the characters. His characters are expressive and all around quite good looking. However, the best scene of the book would have to be at a Halloween costume party, which I’m sure all artist start to drool when they read “costume party” in the script.
Finally, Jesus Aburto brings this book to life with his vibrant work on the colours. He uses deep backgrounds like blues and purples to bring the focus to the red, yellows and greens in the foreground. These characters are popping off the page and it really is a beautiful book to look at. The Rook is a fun adventure book and really demands a colour scheme like Aburto has provided.
If you don’t know the story of The Rook then I won’t spoil anything for you but there is obviously some cool time travel ideas played with in this first issue. Grant has done a great job of making it accessible to new readers but also dropping nods to the past for those long time fans of the character. If you are interested in time displaced heroes this Wednesday, The Rook #1 is a good place to start.