Sentinel #13, The Pack, Review
Sentinel Comics continues a lovely trend they have going on of pumping out comics to entertain with various categories. With Sentinel #13: The Pack, what we get is a Dog Soldiers type of story that's made me want to watch that film again sometime. Alan Holloway is joined by artist Mac Art for some werewolf/soldier action to entertain the masses.
The Pack is a slight departure from previous Sentinel issues. Usually, they're standalone comics, with the odd getting a second outing without feeling like it's part of anything larger. With The Pack, however, this is very much an introduction. We have six battle-hardened army vets with a unique ability to tap into their inner beast. Becoming a werewolf without needing a full moon - a 'pack'. A seemingly routine mission goes awry, and our narrator remains in his werewolf form after their 10-minute time limit, something they've been told will make them feral. One of the hunters becomes the hunted. But is everything as it seems? Are they pawns of a broader conspiracy?
For the art, Mac Art makes his Sentinel Comics debut and has a style that is perfect for the Sentinel format. Using a lot of negative space, the art pops off a lot of pages which is a great way to showcase the animalistic nature of the characters. Characters get some nice little details, whilst a lot of the backgrounds are blocks of black or white. There are, though, some lovely little details added to the background on some panels where required, like when Sargeant Paul Quinn is thrown through a window of a tall building, and you can see the background buildings - that page also features my favourite line, but more on that in a bit.
Mac's work is sure to get a few prints or original art offerings with the Kickstarter, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them go fast. There are so many pages that would look great framed on someone's wall.
As usual, Alan Holloway is writing, and that's always something we love. Alan has clearly taken inspiration from some old-school action films but placed in a more modern setting. With multiple characters, everyone gets a share of the action and simple one-textbox descriptions of the main cast are written well enough for you to have a good sense of what they're like. This is all written through the Sargeant's narration, so it's more how he views the team than anyone else. It's a nice introduction to the team whilst in the middle of a mission to explain further what is going on. There's some surprising humour thrown in too that doesn't feel out of place, which includes my favourite line that proper made me laugh.
Alan gives us plenty of revelations and a twist or two, but ultimately this is a prequel of sorts. There's enough for a story, and it's a great introduction to the team. But it's quite a departure from what we usually see from Sentinel. It feels like a setup for more. You don't know who's behind this fight other than assuming it's the US government. Or why they believe what they believe, other than assuming it's to control the soldiers. That's a lot of assuming, though. The setup leaves everything open for more.
Overall, Sentinel #13 is another cracking comic. It might feel like a prequel, but it's still so much fun and demands your attention with the story and the art. There's more to come, and I can't wait. Alan continues to show that he's mastered writing comics in this format and he's finding artists that can complement his stories to great effect. Mac's art is enjoyable with the Sentinel format, and I get the feeling that Sentinel fans are going to love this one. It might be a departure from the usual with the issue being a setup for at least another issue, but we're totally here for it. Sentinel has produced many great characters or comics that we'd love to see more of, and in this case, we know that'll be happening at some point.
Alan Holloway (w), Mac Art (a) - Sentinel Comics