Review: The Fly: Outbreak #1

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Publisher: IDW
Writer: Brandon Seifert
Artist: menton3
Letterer: Tom B. Long

The Fly: Outbreak is a direct continuation to the visceral horror established in the 1986 film and it’s sequel as the story follows the son of Seth Brundle, a brilliant scientist whose tinkering with teleportation left him horribly mutated with insect DNA. Brundle’s son Martin, now a grown man, carries these mutant genes and desperately searches for a cure to his affliction in the hope of fathering a normal human child. This new mini-series requires the reader to have watched the films as it follows directly on from the events of The Fly II and maintains many of the same characters. So, not exactly an easy read for those new to the Fly series.

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With this first issue we are introduced to our main characters Dr. Martin Brundle, his lover Noelani, and his test subject, Anton Bartok, the former CEO of the Bartok corporation now a grotesque mutant. Again, the details are thoroughly explained in the former films. Even with the vague introduction of characters and setting, the story arc is stretched thin over the 24 pages with very little actually happening other than a small burst of action near the end. As the series consists of five separate issues it appears that the artwork is to be given far more attention than the story. Which is fine because the art is good, but it doesn’t feel like you’re getting what you paid for. Although an incredibly slow opener to the series, the story is headed in a good direction hinting a far more horrors to come.

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As mentioned before, the art from illustrator Menton J. Matthews, under the pseudonym Menton3, is great. The wonderfully eerie lighting and over abundance of shadows helps build the creepy horror atmosphere while also making the design of a mutant human-fly hybrid less ridiculous than it sounds. However, when it comes to the human characters everyone appears almost statuesque. Pretty to look at, but expressionless and lacking in any emotion. This may be more a result of the stone cold dialogue, but it remains very noticeable. In spite of these flaws, the artwork is by far the most redeeming quality.

Even from the name The Fly: Outbreak promises big horror within it’s pages and although it’s on the right track this first issue hasn’t really delivered. It may be too early to judge this series, but currently the artwork is carrying the story as much as it can, hoping it will eventually be able to stand on it’s own.