Story - Kwong
Pencils - Churin
Inks – Lee
$2.75 /407 Studios
Four friends rent a boat and head out from Cancun, Mexico for a day of research/sun worshipping, what could possibly go wrong? When you see a worker on an offshore oil platform poo-poo the fact that some oil is seeping back into the ocean (who cares about the environment?!?!?), followed by a diver who just found some sunken treasure end up with a big fish hook through the hand and then promptly be attacked by a mass of black goo (oh no! the environment is fighting back!), you get the idea our little group is in for some rough sailing, especially when they run into an old fishing trawler that looks abandoned, but has a young girl on deck signaling them to come aboard. Scary. Bring on the terror and blood-letting!
The rest of the story unfolds in Hybrid #1, one of the first releases from Studio 407 (www.studio-407.com), a young comic publisher who bills itself as "bring(ing) together the imagination, storytelling traditions and creative talents of artists and writers from America and Asia to generate a flow of distinct and kinetic East-meets-West entertainment for multimedia commercialization."
Not bad for a early release from a relatively new publishing house. Churin’s art seems to be trying for a Bryan Hitch level of realism. That’s a good thing to aim for, even if you come up short from time to time as Churin does. Kwong’s story moves along, a bit rushed in places, but he gets the job done. The problems for me was when I started to see how many components were pieced together from elsewhere. The four friends (smart guy with a hot girlfriend, party boy with a bitchy girlfriend) on a boat feels a lot like Jessica Alba’s Into the Blue movie from a few years back. The grouchy boat captain felt like Quint from Jaws. The bad guys on the trawler felt like a mix between the Gorman’s Fisherman from I Know What You Did Last Summer and some costumed baddies from a Scooby Doo episode.
Part of this might be related to the fact that Studio 407 seems to be angling for not just comic success, but movies, TV, and games as well. Variety reports that Studio 407 has already signed a first-look deal with Myriad Films for bringing stories to the big screen. Hybrid feels like it was created with that in mind, for better or worse.