Advanced Review: Lightning Strike Issue Six

Review by David Ferguson

Art by Cormac Hughes, Neil Ford, Robert Carey, Johnny McMonagle, Amrit Birdi and Monika Szynkiewicz
Written by Ciaran Marcantonio, Mike Lynch, Chad Boudreau, James Looney and Liam Hughes
Colours by Chris O’Halloran, Neil Ford, Darren Brown, James Sharkey, Eoin Hurrell and Monika Szynkiewicz
Lettering by Miriam Abuin, Nikki Foxrobot, E.T. Dollman, Dave Evans and Monika Szynkiewicz
Cover by Stephen Mooney and Ruth Redmond

As is usual with an anthology, I’ll be going story by story on the review. I do of course have to start with the cover. Lightning Strike have brought in some big guns to do their interpretation of Cormac Hughes and Ciaran Marcantonio’s RED SANDS lead character. It’s interesting to see Stephen Mooney’s take but even more interesting, to me at least, is seeing Ruth Redmond’s take on colours as I found Chris O’Halloran’s colours added a unique vibe to the Red Sands story (more on that in a bit). An excellent cover that does all a cover should – grabbing the attention and giving a preview of what is to be found inside.

RED SANDS – Ciaran Marcantonio seems to have been caught up by Mad Max: Fury Road as he brings us a story set in a post apocalyptic future. That being said, there are enough differences to set apart including a variety of vampires and we get a cool female lead. I myself was extremely entertained by the movie so a story in this vein appealed to me a great deal. One of Cormac Hughes’ strengths, in my opinion, is his ability to design cool looking characterss and this shows through in this story. What I really found interesting was the eerie, almost unsettling, colour choices which added another element to the story. Chris O’Halloran continues to impress. Add the lettering of Miriam Abuin and you have a great package.

3000 DOLLAR SECOND – Mike Lynch always seems to have ability to appeal to my science fiction sensibilities. This is sci-fi 101. The story is set in a science fiction background but it is about the plight of the working man really. Add a bit of a twist and he gives me everything I want from a sci-fi short story. Neil Ford does a great job of capturing all this giving us a science fiction world with some real characters.

THE BRIDGE – I’m always impressed with Robert Carey’s art. This is kind of different as I don’t recall him doing something in a historic setting. He, writer Chad Boudreau and colourist Darren Brown manage to create an authentic small town setting which then turns into a chilling atmosphere as we learn the true horror behind it all.

THE COPPER TRAP – Mike Lynch gives us a different kind of story from his first one with this as he creates a sinister horror story. Horror isn’t always my thing but I appreciate the atmosphere that Mike, artist Johnny McMonagle and colourist James Sharkey were able to create for this. The art really suits the tone of the story.

CANON LAW – It is nice to see one of Lightning Strike Presents ongoing stories included in this volume. The only issue is that new readers will not be familiar with the story so far so some sort of introduction (or a reminder for those who may have forgotten where we are) would have been nice. It’s an interesting universe and I enjoyed the dialogue and the personality of the new character in this story. Kudos to James Sharkey. Artist Amrit Birdi manages to keep up his end with great layouts for both the talking heads part of the story as well as the action. It’s never boring.

ACE & GINGER – It is a nice change of pace to have a comedic story mixed in with a volume that has a couple of bleak episodes. Liam Hughes and Monika Szynkiewicz have created a fun little story with sharp dialogue. The creators seem to be having fun with this one.

Another great volume of Lightning Strike. They continue to improve issue on issue with only small changes I would make (the CANON LAW intro). You can pick up your copy at Arcade Con this weekend.