Written by: Ron Bricker
There is nothing I really enjoy more than a new take on classic archetypes. There are things like Watchmen and Ex Machina that take on the stereotypes of superheroes and place them in an alternate-but-not world and keep them at the center of political intensity.Then there are books that go the opposite way like The Boys that showcase these same superhero archetypes but in an outrageous and overtly sexual way. All of them have one thing in common, and that is they all provide commentary on why our love for these vigilante characters run so deep. Ape Entertainment's upcoming Kill The Revisionist is no different. Writer Chad Lambert and artist Chris Steininger take the vigilante archetype and turn it on its head, but not without keeping the aspects of these types of characters that we love in tact – providing one of the most entertaining reads you are going to find anytime soon.
Kill The Revisionist is a self contained original graphic novel that tells the tale of regular Jon (literally) turned vigilante, The Revisionist, as he battles his long lost adopted brother via his crime syndicate, The Cross. Along the way there is bloody good balls to the walls action, romance, plenty of humor, and emotion that all come together to form a nice little package. When you look at the character traits of these characters and their relationships to each other, it's easy to see the parallels of their mainstream counterparts, but Lambert keeps it amazingly fresh by putting these traits to use in a brand new, grittier setting that is laced with characters' personal eccentricities so well that we get to know these characters quickly and with ease.
Lambert and Steininger pack so much potential into this little package that it's really bursting at the seams. For the most part, Kill The Revisionist is a straightforward tale, starting at point A and ending at point B. But where it does take small detours for some minor flashbacks (and flash forwards), it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for storytelling within this universe. For example, our villain is a man who was banished form his home world for attempted genocide and sent to Earth in prehistoric times, where he has walked around since planning his no good deeds. What happened between the time of this story and the 25 million years previous? Certain things are touched upon of course, but the character has so many stories to be told.
As for The Revisionist himself, we get to see glimpses of his possible future throughout the book, but again, his past is much more engaging as a reader to know first. Within this modest 70+ page OGN, Lambert has developed a full world that is begging to be explored further. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen.
Best of all, this story and its world has a look and feel all its own. The art here is glorious. Steininger's cartooning is great and the characters look and feel alive in their panels, complemented by strong outlines and a seriously pretty coloring job. The colors look painted on with watercolor, they are vibrant yet washed out in the right places for effective shading that combines with the inks for a perfectly completed image. The action is fast paced and exciting, something that is rarely seen in comics. Even though the comic book is at its core, an escapist medium with action at its center, many mainstream books fail to produce the kind of exciting action from panel to panel that fans hope for. This book will not disappoint anyone in that way. The action scenes are plentiful and well constructed, both in sight and in writing.
In all, there is nothing that should stop you from getting this book when it comes out in June. Writer Chad Lambert has hinted at perhaps seeing more of The Revisionist in the future, and I for one sure hope it comes to fruition. When you open this book, you will think you know the characters and the direction of the plot. And in one moment of utter realization – you will discover that you knew nothing at all. Such is the way of Kill The Revisionist.