Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Sometimes it's good to go into something without knowing a single thing about it. When I saw Spider-Man 3 for the first time back in 2007, I knew practically everything about it beforehand. Nothing really surprised me since I knew almost everything. If I hadn't known the information beforehand, would it have been a more rewarding experience? Probably. The point is, going into Everlast, a graphic novel by Archaia Entertainment due for release tomorrow on the 14th, I didn't know too much about it. I knew about the general concept, the pre-End of Days world, but that was about it. So going in, I had no clue what to expect. First, the plot of the book, then my review.
The story follows Derek Everlast, a 'soldier' who's mission is to rescue people from the end of the world event: The End of Days. In the center of the earth lies Eden, known as 'Haven.' 144,000 people are destined to be saved through this event, and it's Derek's job to locate them. However, things become harder when a former soldier named Stavros comes in saying Haven is nothing but Hell in disguise. He has supernatural monsters under his control, and is determined to make Derek see what he calls "the truth." Derek on the other hand is concentrating on getting his next save, a girl named Melissa, into Haven.
At its core, the concept of this graphic novel appears to be similar to other end-of-the-world things. The atmosphere reminds me of the movie Priest. There are some similarities between the two. Derek reminds of Priest, and the villain, Stavros, betraying the team is similar to what happened in the film. Similarities end there. Generally, Everlast may appear to not be that different, but there's a lot of very interesting story points. The beginning with all the famous history figures was great and adds to the realism. The concept of Eden (which is said to be the Garden) being in the center of the earth is a very interesting idea and makes sense when you sit down and think about it.
The main character is what drives the story. Well, sometimes you could have a bland character but a very interesting plot to keep the reader invested. Fortunately, the main character of the story, Derek, is interesting and likable enough. It's hard not to like him, he's easy to root for. In comparison with another character, I'd say he's similar to Johnny Blaze from the 90's Ghost Rider comics. I like his thought boxes, it's what carries the story. The villain, Stavros, is really well written. Some of his lines had me smirking, the best character aside from Derek. The bar tender, Naomi, wasn't fully fleshed out. She wasn't horribly written as a one-shot, but could have used a bit more development.
At first, I was confused with the story. Things were happening a bit too fast and nothing was being explained. As the story progressed, things were explained, I actually like this way of story telling. It doesn't work for everything, but it works here. Some parts do feel a bit rushed, but overall, it's well-paced. The art is pretty good, consistent. The characters look fine, but the creature designs were what grabbed me, they would make even H.P. Lovecraft proud. (There's a scene where this giant Venom-Cloverfield monster thing appears, it's truly epic.) There's this one page where it takes place in Haven showcasing a bunch of white doves, it's probably one of the most beautiful pages I've ever seen in a graphic novel.
Overall, Everlast takes a used concept, but puts a unique spin on it. I was greatly entertained by it, the action doesn't stop. There's no scenes that drag on, it's a fun ride throughout. The ending makes me want to read more, so hopefully we'll get a sequel. With its great premise, interesting main character/villain, non-stop action, and good script, Everlast makes a great buy.