Brereton, Dan


3 out of 5

(1 book)

Nocturnals: Black Planet

(Art by Dan Brereton)

Leader of a group of supernatural outcasts, Doc Horror discovers that an old enemy has caught up to him at last and he has to call on all the powers of his allies in order to save the Earth from invasion.

It's kind of hard to actually write a synopsis for this book because for a long time I didn't really get what it was about.  By the time you come to understand what's going on, however, the truth could only be considered a spoiler (although it has to be said, that that didn't stop the publishers from laying it out in the blurb on the back of the book).  The problem is that Brereton just drops us into his world without any preamble or explanation and we're just supposed to immediately accept that there are fish-people, raccoon-people and more.  It really wouldn't have taken much effort on the author's part to give us a bit of explanation early on, but we, the readers, are treated as if we should either just get it or get out.  There are a couple of cops who perhaps are intended as our analogues, but they seem totally okay with some weird stuff and then not okay with others.  In fact, their role in the book could've been dropped altogether and it would've pretty much changed nothing.

However, I stuck with it and eventually things do fall into place.  The final act of the book in which Doc Horror (really awful character name, by the way) and his allies all team up to take on the Crim is very enjoyable and satisfying to read.  But it didn't feel like enough of a payoff for slogging through the confusing and unfocused early sections of the book.

I should also say that Brereton's all-painted artwork is gorgeous and his character design is brilliant.  My personal favourite was the Gunwitch, a kind of cross between scarecrow, zombie and gunslinger who has no lines but steals every scene he's in just by being a badass.

3 out of 5


Fantasy (here)