Thursday, September 24, 2009

Zuda review WheelJack Union/ Marvel Masterworks Iron Man is better than Essential Iron Man, why is that?

WheelJack Union is another September Zuda comic done by Mike Odumand rockstarnoah. Here is the synopsis: A young engineer, Gene Recktor, son of famed scientist Robert Recktor, has always resented living in his father’s shadow. Gene steps forward to head a secret project to develop an “unmanned tank”. Powered by his own delusions of grandeur and arrogance, he creates the WheelJack, a bipedal machine that far surpasses the vision of a mere automated tank. General Treys, an old friend of Gene’s father, agrees to put WheelJack into full production. Unexpectedly, the Wheeljack production comes to a halt, devastating Gene’s ego and growing aspirations. Gene demands that the military begin production again, but is denied by General Treys who now realizes Gene’s selfish motives. In the following weeks Gene becomes detached and embittered by his failure. He angrily pursues recognition and is met with open arms by a mysterious man. The actions Gene takes thereafter may very well open a chapter for him in the history books, but maybe not in the way he had intended.

You need to color your comics

With some comics on the web black and white works, but WheelJack Union wasn't one of those to me. The pages didn't look like a coloring book, but it didn't look finished either. Letters are for the most part easy to read. On screen 1 the impact of the tank being hit/THOOM! sound effect was stunted by the lack of color. It also could have been a more dramatic/bigger moment if it was a full page shot instead of half a page. It was a OK start, but this month (like almost every month) had some stiff competition on Zuda. The WheelJack robot design is cool enough, art is fine, but the most intriguing part of this comic is the Gene Rektor character. I can't tell from these 8 screens if his character is going to be 'redeemed', or if he's going to turn Nazi and have to be taken done by his own creations. The synopsis actually does a very good job in getting readers to want to know what happens next. Their are some good action scenes early on, accompanied by decent text box narration. The number of action scenes only served to underline how much color would have added to the story. The dialogue translation of the non-English speakers wasn't really needed. Wheeljack proceeds to slaughter a number of the enemy, so they bring in a tank to try to take him down. In screen 5 WheelJack side stepped the tank shell, then we see the horrified eyes of the Nazi goon as he/the tank gets blasted away. The WheelJack used a atom cannon with predictably impressive devastation. It is the best screen of the comic, and I liked the symbolism of a unarmed tank facing off against its armed counterpart.

Theirs more than one of them.... Awe hell look out Nazis...

The General didn't want to accept the WheelJack's success, but in the end he had to. Their was good characterization in the art work, which brought out the personalities of both General Treys and Professor Gene Recktor. Screen 7 had some tantalizing insights into Gene Rictor's character. Becoming a superstitious person for some unknown reason, and his whispered comments about his Father's reputation acting like his shadow in the final panel. Screen 8 starts off with a sound effect that goes across the screen, which was a nice touch. A impending Kraut attack leads Gene to want to activate the WheelJacks to save their production facility. His assistant Arnold also mentions they need to save the workers, which Gene agrees with as a after thought. It was a great job of underlining the cold heartless bastard villain qualities Gene could/will have. The last panel shows the various WheelJack's waiting to be activated in a homage panel to I, Robot. Color would have got this comic a favorite from me. The only thing that really didn't ring true is General Treys canceling the program because of Gene's less than altruistic motives with WheelJack. Even if you say he was a close friend of his father, no way do I buy the government, any government, would pass up a bright, shiny new secret weapon on moral grounds. That seemed like a plot point to bring in the 'mysterious man', but it's still a good story. This month was just too much competition.


  1. I agree. The lack of color in this one mystified me. Leaving it uncolored really does nothing stylistically. It almost comes off like a mistake.

  2. Sadly, I too agree that color could have probably have helpped this one in hindsight. The line work is really amazing, but people seem to get turned off by b/w entries on Zuda. (Has a b/w entry ever one? I think there has been one winner before...)

  3. Road, but it looked like a B & W comic with all of the fine ink work. WheelJack doesn't have that level of detail.

  4. Street Code also got the instant win, but colors would have been welcome for the comic by me.