METCOP WONDERLAND #1-3
Written by Katie Marx
Art by Mel Rowsell
Colours by Lauren Hall
Review by Clancy James Ellis
Strange things are happening in Melbourne’s Underground Railway tunnels and Authorized Officer Shane Digby is about to catch the non stop line straight into a out of this world mystery.
One year on from a train crash disaster that took the lives of two hundred and seventeen people we find our Main Hero working the Railway line while struggling to deal with the public’s constant unanswered questions as to the rumoured DEMONTRAIN and its Red-eyed workers that are to blame for the incident.
With more and more sightings of the mechanical demon scaring the native Melbournians, Shane and his partner Alan are assigned a local Reporter in the form of Billy Nemo to help fix the Authorised Officer’s public image after not being able to explain the cause of the disaster. Yet as the story unfolds it becomes apparent that there may be more to the young Journalist than at first expected.
But when supposedly deceased Scarlett ‘Cracks’ back onto the line, things are about to turn upside down for the young Australian and the commuters.
Throw in a unhealthy dose of torn off skin, a hulking red-eyed death robot battle and a not so nice Company-man Alien and METCOP WONDERLAND’s science fiction mystery races towards the reader full steam ahead.
Katie Marx does a wonderful job with fleshing out the very relatable characters while at the same time not giving to much of the mystery away as the realism blurs and the uncanny blends in. It’s easy to picture our main character Shane and his over zealous partner Alan really working the Melbourne Railway lines and their conversations come out fluid and unforced as if they were really taking place in everyday life. When the story does takes a turn from the norm (Shades of cult classic THEY LIVE anyone?) Marx’s characters react in ways that keep things running at a great pace and keep the reader wanting more.
Mel Rowsell’s Art along with Lauren Hall’s Colours bring Melbourne’s Railway to life and seeing locations on the page that so many of us readers have visited is a real treat, at times you actually feel like your on one of the trains. The character designs and beautiful colouring help bring in the sense that things are going to get weird (and boy do they), while the soft tones give a very realistic feeling to the Melbourne setting.
Overall, METCOP WONDERLAND issues 1-3 are zany, page turning books with a science fiction mystery that will keep readers wanting more and art that both captures the realism of its Melbourne setting and the bizarre moments with brightly lit splashes of colour.
The trio of Female Writer and Artists from BOXTEA BOOKS are ones to keep an eye on and I look forward to the future issues.