451 Media: Ex Mortis 5 (of 7): Comic Review

     It's 1944 and the world is at war, but Hitler has been creating an army of the undead called the Ex Mortis.  What can the Allies do against a group unstoppable Nazi soldiers?  Create a special group of their own monsters called the Dreadnaughts.

     The team is comprised of all the essential classic horror creatures.  There's Jack Glendon (Wolfman), Captain Demeter (Vampire), Junior (Frankenstein's original Promethean creation!), Nereus (A Fishman), Eric Leroux (Explosives Expert/Phantom), and  Corporal Cushing- just a normal human woman looking to find someone from her past.

     This team of super soldiers just can't catch a break.  They've been brought together on a suicide mission to stop a seemingly invincible army, crashed- then ruined- a military sock hop dance, accidentally decapitated their commanding officer, and then they were shot down behind enemy lines .  Things can't possibly get any worse, right?

     After last issue's skirmish, the team is regrouping.  Cushing is helping sew parts onto Junior, the Captain is feeding, and the team gets only the briefest of respites.  They are quickly divided, ambushed, and taken captive by the Ex Mortis who've been aided by a traitor.  Things are looking very bleak for the Allied monsters.  
     ...but...  they find someone that may be able to help them in their holding cells while another army moves towards their location.  

     The series was been created and written by Paul and Pete Williams, and has been adapted by Andi Ewington.  Ex Mortis has done quite well with it's horror material.  It could've easily fallen into a mish-mash of garbage like so many other stories tend to do, but is handled superbly here.  There's plenty of comics, books, and movies out there attempting to capitalize on the stereotypical horror lineup, but very few do it in such a deft manner.  They don't dwell on the angst of their characters like Penny Dreadful, they don't have incomprehensibly long and drawn out stories like Hemlock Grove, and it certainly doesn't neuter vampires and werewolves like Twilight.  Like the Dreadnaughts themselves, Ex Mortis has a mission and it cuts right to it.  Each issue gives us a little more story, a bit more tension, and a hell of a lot more action.

     What makes this story really shine, though, is the art.  It isn't often a black and white comic can really hold it's own with so many of the full-colored comics out there, but Raymund Bermudez's art is a true descendant of all that made old pulp horror comics so great.  It's got a dynamic flow, great layouts, and even the splatters between the panels are evocative of all the blood that is being spilled in these pages.  It doesn't need to be red to know what it is.  This book is a worthy heir to The Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt.  To give credit where it is due though, this issue also has Ty Dazo listed as penciler, and David Forrest assisting on inking.

     Every single book that 451 Media is putting out is great, and I'm continually impressed by them.  Seriously, Self Storage and Sunflower are absolutely great, Humbug is a genuine delight, and SIX is every bit as riveting as any military crime novel I've ever read.  This is a company to watch as the quality of work they've been publishing is staggering.  These books are all well worth reading!

     They have more than enough #ImaginationToBurn!
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*Review copy provided by 451 Media, Thank you!

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