REVIEW: LIGHTNING STRIKE ISSUE 4

lightning-strike-4
Review by David Ferguson

Art by Amridt Birdi, Kevin Weldon, Daryl Cox and Kevin Keane
Written by James Looney, David Lynch, Mike Lynch, Liam Browne, Stephen Carey and Ciarán Marcantonio
Colours by Eoin Hurrell, Neil Delaney and James Sharkey
Letters by Miriam Abuin and Patrick Brown
Cover by Robert Carey

As this an anthology, I’m going to break down the review by story. They’re going to be more of an overall review this time as opposed to broken out between art and writing.

Canon Law

Art by Amridt Birdi
Written by James Looney
Colours by Eoin Hurrell
Letters by Miriam Abuin

An interesting noir detective story with the hook that the detective works for the Church. This part is all about setting up. You learn a bit about the players and the situation. I would have liked to see more in relation to the Church connection as I felt that was what differentiates it from the typical detective tale. Maybe they’ll play it up in future issues. The names suggests it. The action is towards the end but the artist did a good job of coming up with interesting and dynamic camera shots for the scenes. The colours helped give the story a feel of the location. I must also note that the lettering gave the story an extra professional feel.

Customs

Art by Kevin Weldon
Written by David Lynch and Mike Lynch
Colours by Neil Delaney
Letters by Miriam Abuin

I liked the hook for this story setting up Earth as a hub of space travel. I felt the story ended abruptly last issue and again I think this story would better fit a 22ish page comic. The previous issue was set up but this one progresses story nicely with more on the possibly incompetent or not boss and the investigations of the police. The art has a cartoonish quality the plays well with the comic aspects of the story. Kevin Weldon does “talking heads” scenes well and makes them interesting. His strongest scene, in my opinion, was the boss being told off (particularly the fourth page). I didn’t like some of his “camera” choices in other scenes but the majority of the art worked for me. Neil Delaney had the unenviable task of following Ruth Redmond’s colours but he manages to maintain a consistent palette so as I hadn’t noticed the change over.

Monkey of Oz

Art by Daryl Cox
Written by Liam Browne
Colours by James Sharkey
Letters by Patrick Brown

A clever idea for the story (I liked the introduction being included) but I felt that there was little story progression apart from the last two pages. They had the action and hint of menace. I would like if they had more of what was going on away from the protagonist and hints of future happenings. The last page did give that though. The art has a real folk tale or fable feel which works for the story. The lettering goes in that direction too. Little choices like that add that something extra and shows the creative are thinking about the overall package.

Nightmare Scenario

Art by Kevin Weldon
Written by Stephen Carey
Colours by James Sharkey
Letters by Miriam Abuin

Interesting to see another Kevin Weldon drawn story with a very different tone. He does weird well and I like the look of the protagonist and the weird creatures from this story. I think the story picked up when the hero arrived and would have that part to happened faster. I think maybe cutting page one. I also would have liked to have seen a bigger more impactful version of the last panel. The concept is interesting and I liked the story. I would have just ramped up the tension a notch.

A Dame To 1101011 For

Art by Kevin Keane
Written by Ciarán Marcantonio
Letters by Miriam Abuin

Ciarán Marcantonio has certainly learned that less is more from a dialogue and panel description point of view. The short panel descriptions really ramped up the tension for me. It also allowed more room for the impressive art of Kevin Keane. The art and colour choices give the world a real computer game or Tron like feel. Good lettering choices too. This one is a set up but there is enough story in there and the conclusion leaves you wondering where this story will go.

In summary, I enjoyed this volume and there are little touches like the colouring and lettering choices (and quality) that really show the team are working hard on every aspect of the book. There is a great cover featuring Canon Law by Robert Carey. It’s interesting to see another take on the character and I like the listing of stories as it gets you thinking about the content straight away. I think that some of the creators need be mindful that it is an anthology and that they need to fit more story in especially in the world of independent comics were a monthly schedule is not always feasible. I thought there was enough of a mix of stories to keep readers happy. Lightning Strike improves with every volume so I look forward to issue 5.