Red Rooster #1
Written by Mark Pellegrini
Illustrated by Mitch Breitweiser
Light Braves the Darkness; Darkness Fears the Dawn.
For centuries, the venerable mantle of The Red Rooster has passed from generation-to-generation in order to battle man’s most ancient and pernicious evils. Now, it’s disgraced icon Frank Cooper’s turn to don the cape and cowl in this Dust Bowl-era tale of mystery and redemption against all odds.
Red Rooster #1 may be one of the best first issue of a comic series I’ve ever read. It starts off with a little glimpse of where things wind up – which gets us into the action and excitement right away – and then doesn’t waste a single panel setting everything up to show us how we got there. It also does it all in such a natural and entertaining way that the entire book just flew by. At the end, I didn’t just want more, I felt exasperated that I couldn’t get more.
If you’ve been paying attention to me at all lately, you know what to expect from Allegiance Arts & Entertainment’s artists. It’s not so much that the comics are the best in the world, it’s that they are exactly the balance of realism and cartoon that I think comics should strive for. Every character looks suitably heroic or villainous. Every background is either a fantastic detail of the world around them, or a stark impact statement of solid color. And everything is consistent, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. The style is perfect for comics and I think readers both young and old will love it.
Red Rooster #1 has solid writing, too. There’s moralism aplenty, but it’s almost subtle in the telling. It feels like part of a wholesome story, instead of something tacked on to teach you a lesson about good and evil. It’s clearly been planned from the beginning to provide moral direction, but it also manages to feel like a natural part of their world. It’s not a story about right versus wrong, their world exists as right and wrong! Even the characters’ foibles are barely shades of grey… one is painted as acting poorly just because he wants a beer! It’s nice to visit such a world, especially with everything going on in our own. It’s nice to just get away and enjoy a comic book. Red Rooster captures that perfectly.
I don’t know if the company has evolved over time, if I just got lucky in the order I read their stuff, but every title I read from Allegiance Arts & Entertainment is better than the last. Red Rooster if my favorite so far, and that’s really saying a lot. I can’t find much bad to say about any of these titles, so the fact that I’m discovering more and more positive to say is really impressive to me. I understand the books may not be for everyone, but they are such solid story telling, that I do feel bad for any one missing out.
Like a Wholesome Watchmen
Allegiance does it again, bringing us beautiful artwork and a great story. This time, there's a whole team of heroes to enjoy, and a cadre of stereotypical villains to love to hate, all told in a wonderful golden age style. It may be light reading for many, but it's perfect for young audiences and any one old enough to feel nostalgic for the classics.