Four stories pop up in IDW’s anthology series, but is it good?
Amazing Forest #3 (IDW Publishing)
This issue introduces a story about Ben Franklin: dragon slayer, a boy who finds a laser weapon, a man who brings home a magic fish and finally a dastardly mustachioed villain’s plan gone very wrong. Check our full preview for more.
Why does this book matter?
So far I’ve been blown away by the inventiveness and variety of stories Erick Freitas and Ulises Farinas have delivered in this series. The artists are varied too and you’re bound to find something you like when there are so many stories to gobble up in a single issue.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Two of the four stories continue the trend of excellent storytelling. One entitled “1935” is about a mustachioed villain who ties up a damsel to some train tracks. We soon learn nothing is as it seems and how the story is flipped on its head is a fun one to follow. The fact that it has a surprising ending is just icing on the cake. At the same time artist Zoe Crockett delivers a very classic style in black and white that’s incredibly enjoyable. The facial expressions are a lot of fun and the imagery is quite pleasing to the eye.
My second favorite story is entitled “Fishbone” and delivers a fairy tale-like story. The story feels somewhat like a children’s book due to Austin Breed’s art. This just adds to the folktale vibe and this story also contains a bit of a surprise in the end.
The art by Job Yamen in “Ben Franklin, Dragon Hunter” is downright incredible. It’s detailed and at times haunting. Many of the panels look as if they were pulled from a budding artist’s private sketchbook which gives the story a genuine sort of feel, which is saying a lot considering how outrageous the story is.
It can’t be perfect can it?
That said, the Ben Franklin story has a style that’s too abstract while the story is outrageous. It’s hard to take it seriously and also follow its story because of this. That makes for a somewhat confusing narrative that could have used more.
The fourth story entitled “Giant Laser Rifle” meanwhile seems to be wasting its precious pages. The art is a bit messy and unrefined with an indie feel and at times looks unfinished. The story very much hinges on the art working to showcase the power of this laser and I’m not certain it succeeds. Skuds Mckinley and Vicky Gabriel solidly showcase the youthful nature of the characters and story, but the art is hard to follow.
Is It Good?
Two great stories for different reasons but every one more inventive than the last. This is a series I don’t want to ever end despite the fact that it’s not perfect.