Recently, I read through the first five issues of 451 Comics’ ExMortis, which was a great monster/war comic. For this review, I’d like to look at another comic, Humbug, which help me get even more acquainted with 451 Comics and the professionalism they put in the comics they release.
With beautiful, stylish colors, and a fun, spunky style, Humbug from 451 Comics is worth a read. The dialogue is rich, with loads of humor, and the characters are interesting.
With a Victorian setting, Humbug is centered around Ebeneezer Scrooge (originally created by Charles Dickens), reinterpreted within this comic book universe as a paranormal investigator. Like the Dickens character, Scrooge is a rude, hateful type of guy, which only adds to the humor of the comic. Along with other characters, there is Tim (who is not so tiny), Bob Cratchit, Margaret, and many others.
I love alternative reinterpretations of classic stories, so this was really fun to get into. I also like occult and supernatural stories in a Victorian setting, along with weird science. I would recommend this series for people that like Dr. Who, Lovecraft, and Poe, along with comedy, from slapstick to classic banter. As ExMortis incorporated Viktor Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, and other beloved beasts, Humbug also did a good job with playing at the Dicken’s Christmas Carol, putting it in a speculative fiction genre. The monsters and ghosts that appear in the comic book are creative, but what’s more interesting to me is the interaction between the characters. The writer is great at making the conversations between action scenes interesting, and it’s quite refreshing to see at a time where so much emphasis in comics usually falls upon the action. There’s a lot of dialogue that is hilarious and as vital to the story as the bright art.
The weird science aspect of the story is also fun. It’s cool to see the different gadgets Scrooge uses to contact and fight against these spectral forces, and that took me back to watching Ghostbusters as a kid. There’s a lot of fun playing around with the Christmas Carol story, and with the ghost visitations in that story, it makes sense to envision Scrooge as a ghost investigator. Throughout the story, the Humbug staff take Scrooge and make their own entertaining storyline for him.
The Humbug series proves, along with ExMortis, that there are great comic book series to check out from 451, and I’m hoping to see more of their titles in the future. To see comics of such a high quality from a new publisher is exciting, especially since these stories are unique and seem to push the comic medium forward instead of just going on the expected superhero format.