Advanced Review: Lightning Strike Issue Seven

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Review by David Ferguson

Art by Ruairi Coleman, Peter Mason, Daryl Shaw, Rapha Lobosco and Robert Carey
Written by Wayne Talbot, Darren Brown, Peter Mason, Darrin O’Toole, Hugo Boylan and James Kelly
Colours by Timothy Brown, Darren Brown, Triona Farrell and Rapha Lobosco
Lettering by Mirium Abuin, Darren Brown and Kerrie Smith
Cover by Wayne Talbot, Ruairi Coleman and Timothy Brown

Starting with the cover, I think the right story was selected to be featured. Showing my preferences straight away, I thought The Broker was the best story in this issue (although it was a close run thing as this issue has a great selection). Ruairi Coleman and Timothy Brown do a great job depicting the menacing antagonist. I think Lightning Strike have had a good mix of established and upcoming artists on covers this year but it’s nice to have a featured artist on the cover this time out.

THE BROKER – I have a rule that I give first time creators a little bit of leeway on their first story but that didn’t come to mind while reading Wayne Talbot’s first outing. He’s crafted a very interesting story which is very much set in today’s world. I loved the inclusion of the internet videos, blog posts and news feeds that are a part of all our lives. There are also references to very on topic subjects. Ruari Coleman and Timothy Brown did a great job on the blogs and video. I’m assuming letterer Mirium Abuin had a hand in those. They look really authentic. It’s a continued story and I look forward to the next part.

AQUANAUT – Another really well put together story. More of an adventure story. Peter Mason’s art really impressed me in this one. I couldn’t find fault with his characters or his depiction of the undersea world. The colours are pretty impressive too. They really helped create the feeling of being in a submarine (people will be familiar with some of the ideas if they’ve ever seen a submarine movie). It’s a good introduction to this world and ends on an interesting cliffhanger.

THE VAULT – The first complete story in this volume and Darrin O’Toole’s first published work in 2015. Those familiar with his work including Tales From The Void know that he is well versed in creating entertaining stories with a limited page count. I don’t want to say too much about it as I really don’t want to spoil but it’s a cool story with Nazis and more. Artist Daryl Shaw continues to impress as he can do both ordinary (the soldiers and the setting) and other stuff that I don’t want to mention as I really don’t want to spoil the story for people. I also need to gush about the colouring of Triona Farrell. I match my comments on the art as she shows her ability to capture the ordinary and the stuff I don’t want to spoil. Mirium Abuin’s letters add to this very polished tale.

MURPHY’S DAY – A play on Murphy’s law, this is a case of a writer letting the art do the talking. There is no dialogue with the only lettering being sound effects and the titles. I think it shows a writer that is growing in confidence and I think this is Hugo Boylan’s best outing to date. This is my first introduction to Rapha Lobosco’s art. Colour me impressed. His style reminds me somewhat of John Paul Leon. Mix that with colouring that really capture the mood of the story and I really want to see more from this creator. Although the lettering largely relates to sound effects, they are an important element in the story and Kerrie Smith’s letters help with the tension that is a big part of the story.

UBER – I have a problem with this one. There are two, for now, seemingly unrelated scenes that don’t really give me enough to go on. It ended kind of abruptly for me. Robert Carey does his usual bang up job on the art. I really liked the first scene in particular with a nice mix of weirdness and action. I suppose it is the second scene that kinda feels like it was cut short. Darren Brown colours really fit the story (it’s interesting to compare them to his colours on Aquanaut as you see a colourist who works with the art and the story). Mirium Abuin provides her usual polished lettering. This just didn’t give me enough story.

In summary, this is another great issue from Lightning Strike. I could find little in the way of problems with it and I like how they continue to bring in existing talent we have seen on other Irish books as well as highlighting people we maybe haven’t seen before.