erasing clouds

by tony doug wright

Dub Trub: Our World Is In Danger Now, Carter Allen (Candle Light Press)

Carter Allen's Dub Trub is set in the future during an on-going battle between the Voyd Empire, a powerful alien race determined to destroy Earth, and a unified world army who's mission is to save the planet by any means necessary. The Voyd Empire clearly has the soldiers and arsenal to annihilate the human race, but they cannot match the superior powers of two female super-agents: Agent Red and Agent Black.

Dub Trub is divided into four chapters: "Land, Sea and Air"; "When Heroes Fail"; "Moonbase" and "Grunt." The book opens with a brief history of the future. Six years before the story begins, the people of Earth are given an ultimatum from the Voyd: "Prepare to be destroyed". "Land, Sea and Air" introduces the two agents; Agent Black is an expert marksman while Agent Red is a well-trained student of the martial arts. Both characters rely upon Rex, a trusty cowboy space pilot, to get them out of "hairy" situations.

"When Heroes Fail" introduces another character named Ambassador Roka who has a human body with a canine's head. Roka is a strong fighter but has problems understanding Earth lingo that adds a certain comic element to his character. Both chapters seem to follow a basic comic book formula: two super-heroes fight against enormous odds alongside two unusual sidekicks.

Although "Dub Trub" follows this formula, it does have a great deal humor and imagination. Carter Allen's art is absolutely fantastic blend of 1950s sci-fi and modern styles. Agents Red and Black are intelligent and witty but not drawn in the "small body/large breasts" style that is all too prevalent in today's comics.

But Dub Trub is not all humor and sarcastic comebacks. "Grunt", the final chapter, explores the daily struggles of a female Russian infantry soldier. This woman must deal with her own personal demons while being fed a massive dose of anti-Voyd propaganda. "Grunt" just may be the best chapter in Dub Trub.

Somewhat cartoonish and little bit World War II newsreel propaganda, Dub Trub mixes classic sci-fi with modern humor. All of Carter's characters are absolutely original. It is good to see a graphic novel that does not have characters with exaggerated body parts and clichéd lines. Another job well done by Candle Light Press.

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Issue 21, March 2004

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