Summons # 1: Rude Awakening
Story/Pencils - Chris L. Williams
Inks - Jake Isenberg
Colors - Danielle Alexis St. Pierre (Cover) & Victor Bartlett (Interiors)
Review by Fernando Lyons
Summons #1: Rude Awakening from Hound Comics is an action/adventure comic which follows the adventures of a high school student, Kristine Helios, who is gifted in both the mystical and martial arts. Armed with a dagger made from the Spear of Destiny, Kristine is on a mission to recover the "Book of Summons", a book of light and dark mysticism, which predates The Bible. The earth's mystic energy field has become imbalanced, and the book is needed in order to restore the mystic balance and peace to the planet.
From the first few pages, I knew that I was in for a thrill ride with this book. The action starts pretty early, as Kristine takes on, and quickly disposes of a group of lower-level demons called Monstrums. During the course of the battle, she realizes that her ability to read the thoughts of the Monstrums that she slays, has been compromised, so she reluctantly summons the sole survivor of ancient and mystical M.E.G.A.S. (Mystic Event Gatherer And Surveyor) order for assistance. Within the first few pages, key story details are revealed, readers are introduced to two of the story's main characters, and readers are given insight into the interesting relationship between those two characters.
Writer, Chris L. Williams, did an excellent job creating an interesting story and even more interesting characters. The M.E.G.A.S. is one of the most intriguing and enigmatic characters I have encountered in a comic book in a while. He initially appears when summoned by Kristine, but appears later in the story on his own, without being summoned, in order to protect Kristine from a Monstrum attack. During his second appearance, he exhibits more of his mystic power and reveals a little more about his background and purpose. There is still a lot to learn about this interesting character, and I wouldn't mind seeing an issue or two dedicated him and his origin story. Issue one's lead character, Kristine, is also a very interesting character. In one scene, Kristine is battling the most horrific demonic beings one could imagine, and in the next scene, she is in her high school classroom dealing with the same issues (academics, social acceptance, friendship, boys, etc.) that many teenage girls deal with on a daily basis. Kristine is a well-rounded, fleshed out character with a great amount of depth to her. Even though she is a supernatural demon slayer, she is still somewhat relatable and engaging, with a bit of a soft spot for those she cares about. At the end of the issue, we are introduced to another character, who also appears to be a major player.
The artwork, from the character designs, to the colors, to the glowing magical effects are top-notch. This is one of the best looking and well-polished comics I have read in a while. The characters project a great deal of emotion in their facial expressions and body movements, and the excellent use of foreshortening, perspective, and "camera angles" add the proper level of tension, drama, emotion, and excitement to each panel. Kudos to Chris L. Williams, Jake Isenberg, Danielle Alexis St. Pierre, and Victor Bartlett for creating this visual masterpiece.
If there is any problem I saw with issue number one, it is that Kristine was a bit over-sexualized in some scenes. The cover picture, where she is dressed and posed rather provocatively, will give you an indication of what to expect within the pages of the comic. One action scene occurs right after she has just disrobed, and is she was wearing only her bra and panties (lingerie). Ordinarily, I wouldn't have a problem with a small amount of gratuitous sexuality, but I could not get past the fact that Kristine is still a teenager in high school. The story and artwork for Summons #1 are excellent, and can stand on their own merits. In this case, the sexuality or sexual objectification is superfluous and not necessary to attract readers. I guess that is just the father (of a teenage daughter) in me speaking. That being said, this minor complaint is not enough to ruin an otherwise great reading experience.
Summons #1: Rude Awakening is an intelligent, captivating, and visually appealing comic book. I am looking forward to reading issue number two to see how the story develops, and to learn about the mystery character introduced at the conclusion of issue number one. If you are in the mood for a good comic with an original story and great characters, then I suggest you order yourself a copy right now. You won't be disappointed.
+Great Intro, Captivating Story, Interesting Characters, & Great Artwork
Objectification of Protagonist