Kult # 1 (of 4)
Dark Horse Comics
Script: Jeremy Barlow
Pencils: Iwan Nazif
20 pages for $3.50
Kult is not a new thing, it started out as a role playing game created by some mad Swedish bastard, Gunilla Jonsson. I remember being instantly attracted to the tagline - "Death Is Only The Beginning"....fuck n' a right, man!
|Original Kult RPG|
I mention this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, to give a sense of story ambiance, and secondly because a good chunk of the lucky few who might stumble upon Kult and discount it unfairly. I think a lot of readers will pick up on the fact that there's a malevolent sham of a world looking for a new savior and say "Hey! I've seen this before in The Invisibles and The Matrix! What a rip!" But actually Kult got there first, so I wouldn't penalize it for that. Just sayin'.
|Now I've got a red pill, and a blue pill...|
I like the world, and I think if Dark Horse could have snagged Warren Ellis for the project, we might really have something special on our hands. As it stands in the hands of Jeremy Barlow, there's nothing broken about it, but nothing really pops on the page, either.
The gist of the story is that Tomas Zenk is your typical "in over his head" would be savior of the world. He's kind of a dick, and he's kind of a loser, and his job as a parole officer spins him toward an awakening to the larger Kult reality. There's plenty of evil Cthulhian monster action to be had, and a small group of rebels who ex machina onto the scene to help out, and eventually activate the Godhood inside the man.
I don't actually consider it a mistake to make Tomas Zenk unlikeable. The problem is that he's unexceptional. If you're going to make him a prick, do it with some aggression and panache. If he's going to be "The One", there ought to be something about him that draws interest, and there's nothing like that about Zenk. He's just kind of there, being a parole officer with child custody issues.
So here's what I'll say about Kult. I'm not in love with any of the characters, but in spite of everything I've said so far, understand that I'm very much interested in the Kult world. I saw enough on the page here that I'm certainly going to continue with it. I don't know if Barlow is actually the guy for this, but then again, I don't know that he's not. I'm going to let the thing run its course a bit before I declare that he's not up to the task
I would say that if you're into painfully dark world views, or Lovecraft, or even just monster stories, Kult is certainly worth a test drive.
|Yeah....what he said.|