REVIEW: Punt Press Celtic Clan #1

The Celtic Clan

Written by: Nigel Flood
Art by: Frank J. Right
Lettering by: Adam Pruett
Published by: Punt Press
REVIEW: The Celtic Clan is the new book from Punt Press that received its launch at the recent DICE event. One thing that made it stand out from the crowd was the manner in which it was brought to publication. The Celtic Clan was published following contributions through Fund-It.ie and with its goal reached, the book was born.
The Celtic Clan stars Ireland’s premier super-powered team, a team who have a secret base underneath Newgrange who find themselves in an ongoing battle with an ancient race of shape-shifting reptilians who call themselves The First Race. The Clan take their orders from the enigmatic ‘The Big Fella’, whose ties to Michael Collins are yet to be revealed but whose background is of particular curiosity to me. Flood uses a heady mix of superhero action, ancient Irish history (featuring a bad ass St. Patrick) and flawed personalities in his main heroes to meld together a nicely paced story that comes with a superb pay off in the final scenes.
I’ve always said that a large cast can be difficult to juggle and to appropriate fair screen time, but that doesn’t appear to be a big issue with The Celtic Clan as there is a manageable amount of exposition afforded to the characters who appear to be the consequential players in this fantastical curtain raiser.
Flood does a good job of keeping the script interesting and fluid. He doesn’t let the characters get bogged down with heavy monologues but keeps dialogue precise and necessary, even finding room for the odd jibe and letting artist Right have some funny visual moments.
Where in parts of the book Frank J. Right’s art has some vague influences of some of the old style art of the fifties but yet a soft style, there is an undeniable personal stamp on the work. Where some of the background colours and foreground colours can at times seem a little too alike, there is still enough energy in the art to carry it through. Where I mentioned earlier the final scene, it is in no small part down to Right that the payoff is as good as it is. With some nice use of muted colouring the character of Athlete unleashes a ‘holy shit’ moment that I honestly never saw coming.
The book looks slick and the story and art come together nicely for a memorable first issue. There is a surety that the second issue is coming no later than the Spring and the title finds itself on strong footing moving ahead. After the end of the first chapter The First Race have a battle on their hands and we’re along for the ride.
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