Von Klaus: Terror in the Trenches Vol. 1
Now this one, this comic, really scratched my itch. Somewhere in my brain next to “adolescent male power fantasy” is a spot that only the most visceral, fun retribution stories can tickle. Frank Miller can hit that spot, so can Chuck Dixon. Heck, so can Dashiel Hammett and Donald Westlake, outside the world of comic books. It’s not necessarily violence, it’s more of the build up and tension of a story coming to its peak. Anticipation is everything. It makes you nod your head with a big grin on your face and say “yeeeeeaaaaaah!” like that GIF of Jack Nicholson from Anger Management.
Terror in the Trenches takes a golden age character, the Black Terror, and retells his story in a very cool way. Robert Benton is a pharmacist who uses a fear gas to give himself super powers and exact a bloody reckoning on Nazis during WWII. Thirty years later, he runs a lonely drug store in New York City but a collection of super powered enemies from the war come back to exact revenge and blows his neighborhood to smithereens.
There’s a long build up to the main event of this story, cutting between flashbacks of super soldier Black Terror and this inevitable dread as he is forced to return to using fear gas to defend the city against his returned foes. The tension keeps building and building. We know what horror the Black Terror is capable of, and when the splash page reads “MAYBE I’VE ALWAYS BEEN CRAZY.” we know it’s going down.
Monika Maccagni is becoming one of my favorite artists in the crowd funded comics scene. Heck, maybe the whole current comic book scene. The art in the panels feel like frames of animation, but made of liquid and warping with the action.
This book does end on a cliffhanger, one of my pet peeves for crowd funded comics (due to the many months, nay years it can take between the publishing of subsequent books) but it doesn’t bother me as much in this case. Terror in the Trenches Vol 1 is a full meal that takes you on a ride and you feel satisfied. It's great and you should read it.
The book is shipping, so back it right now on the Indiegogo campaign https://igg.me/at/titt/x#/ and I’m sure it will eventually be available at https://www.riseagaincomics.com/ Also, follow the creators on Twitter https://twitter.com/__RiseAgain__ and https://twitter.com/MonikaZeroTwo