Red Dog: Issue 3 Review (451 Entertainment)
Red Dog, 451 Entertainment's newest series, is brought to us by writer/creator Rob Cohen (director of The Fast and the Furious, XXX, and- one of my top 3 favorite films of all time- Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) and adapted by Andi Ewington (writer of 451's Sunflower and Six, as well as his tremendously entertaining self-published series Overrun). With this new issue Alex Cormack takes over illustration duties for Rob Atkins, although the coloring is still handled superbly by John Rauch.
Kyle's had a rough life. Being the only kid on an inhospitable mining colony on the planet Kirowan is tough, but it's even tougher when you are living in the shadow of a former sibling and your only friend is a robot dog named Q. Luckily for Kyle, his newest Birthday gift from his inventor Uncle was 5 more robot dogs.
After getting his 5 new canine companions, Kyle steals a bunch of miscellaneous stuff to customize the looks of all the dogs, which swiftly gets him into trouble. The colony's council decides Kyle can keep the stuff he stole, and the dogs may be kept, but he has to work off the debt- in short they think he needs to grow up. Kyle takes this in stride and sets out to work, but during a play break with the dogs, Red Dog accidentally escapes the protective dome the colonists live in during a time when the natives are on a hunt.
Kyle's decision to venture into the desolate environment of Kirowan to find the titular Red Dog sets in motion a series of events that reveal a new clue to the natives' lives and shows that not all of them are dangerous- some may even be friendly. A group of colonists set up a search party, Kyle and the dogs get into danger, and circumstances take a very dark turn and some characters might not make it back alive.
The new art style is a welcome change, it isn't too harsh of a change, and the lighter style makes Kyle's youth more apparent. It also helps make individual characters more distinct, because at times it was a bit unclear previously.
On it's own, this issue feels much more like a calm breath before the storm to come, but I mean that in a good way. Red Dog issue 3 reads like a great segue to the future, it points to a monumental finale. The writers are definitely setting up some big things for the final 3 issues. We haven't gotten any more hints towards a big reveal about Kyle's relationship to his brother from issue 2, or of the huge implications about the 23rd century discovery of the time-travelling element Imperium the mining colony is after. Both have taken a back seat to Kyle's story of heading into the desert while the war of Kirowan's natives on the outside is ramping up. The book is shifting gears looking more towards survival with a journey into the deadly alien landscape and I'm quite eager to see where these story threads all lead to.
Red Dog 3 hits the stands tomorrow (Wednesday Mar. 8th)
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*Review copy provided by 451, Thank You!