Grammaton Punch #1 – Comixology Originals
Creative Team: Miles Gunter, Briane Andan, Lee Loughridge, Taylor Esposito, Dee Cunniffe and Ed Dukeshire
Welcome to an all new edition of Parlay Points, the comic book review blog to the ODPH Podcast by way of Nerd Initiative!
For this entry, we’re checking out a brand new debut on the Comixology Originals line that flips the traditional ghost story blueprint on it’s head. What happens when someone can not only see ghosts, but fight them back?
Grammaton Punch #1 by Miles Gunter (NYC Mech, Terminator, BPRD), Briane Andan, Lee Loughridge, Taylor Esposito, Dee Cunniffe and Ed Dukeshire, introduces readers to Van Nguyen and his unique ability. Get settled in as we’re about to take a closer look at where one boy’s fight against the paranormal goes in this introductory issue. Let’s begin, shall we?
*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING ***
A Strange Beginning
The issue opens up with Van Nguyen narrating his backstory. Readers witness a solar eclipse, and according to Van being born during a solar eclipse isn’t all that great. As Van is in his mother’s (a power lifter) stroller, a one-eyed ghost appears and makes a connection with him. Van tells the audience that being an “eclipse baby”, he can now see ghosts and vice versa. Van became a power source for the ghost as it ate off his life energy for five years.
During that time, Van was in and out of the hospital often. He was left very weakened from the constant feedings. Doctors ran many tests, but the only result that they could find was an anomaly with Van’s eyes. The ghost’s attacks also turned Van’s hair white. Being only 5 years old, Van looked as if he was going to be facing this problem for the rest of his life. Everything changed, however, when Van realized a key factor involving the ghost: If it could physically touch him, Van could physically fight it back!
Time To Fight Back
At this moment, readers see him defend himself for the first time. Van hits the ghost with a right hand that Mike Tyson himself would be proud of. With the ghost seemingly gone, Van finally had a chance at a healthy life and special prescription sunglasses hiding his gifts.
It seemed short lived as “Eye Face” returned, but Van was ready and disposed of his foe again…and again…and again. Each time, “Eye face” took longer to return. Van was always waiting and always stronger than the last encounter.
Things seemed to be returning to a sense of normalcy as Van accompanies his mother to a power-lifting competition, when something happens that again, changes everything. What went down at the event? Is Van ready to face what lies ahead? Readers bare witness to a growing child’s dilemma of trying to live a “normal” life with unique gifts. Things move pretty fast with some more obstacles piling up before the final image throws a big question mark on the debut issue heading into the next chapter.
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Gunter sets up the foundation for a very imaginative story. Van’s saga catches readers by surprise from the start, by presenting the toll “Eye Face” is taking on Van and his mother. The pacing builds to such a point that readers can feel the moment when he first punches “Eye Face” out of town. It’s an enjoyable section that takes the story into a new direction.
Van is a whimsical lead that grows up fast with the challenges thrown his way. The latter half of the issue demonstrates how Van’s journey isn’t so cut and dry. Van’s impulsiveness makes complete sense considering his age at this placement in story. Heading into the concluding moments, Gunter gives another great surprise setting the stage for the next installment.
Andan brings a high energy to the panels artwork. There is a My Hero Academia-esque feel to when Van starts fighting back. Those panels convey the changing of story tempo. No page illustrates that more than when Van realizes he can hit “Eye Face” back.
Speaking of “Eye Face”, Andan envisions the ghost as a true imposing figure, especially one that is tormenting a five-year old. It’s counter balanced when Van grows confidence in battling back. The issue never feels like there is a lull in-between panels. Van’s world is one to easily hit with readers a the series moves onward.
“With Great Power, One must have a Great Punch!” Gunter, Andan and the team establish a young hero with solid storytelling and electric imagery. Grammaton Punch #1 will be a hit with readers looking for something that stands on its own with many themes mixed in the overall narrative. Make sure to keep an eye out for this series on Comixology this week.
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