Tuesday, June 14, 2016

UNLEASH #1 Review

"UNLEASH" #1 from Amigo Comics -

    Emma Spencer is a survivor. Growing up she suffered heinous, horrible sexual assault, rape, at the hands of someone close to her, someone that might even be of her own blood. As a teenager, she was attacked once more - one night, as she was making her way home from an art class, she was assaulted and forced to bow to the will of a sick, sadistic sexual assailant.

   Now, it's Emma's turn to do some damage.

   She has enlisted the aid of a man-monster who has agreed to do her bidding only if she is ruthless, merciless, unhesitant, and unforgiving in her quest for vengeance. She calls him The Rape-Machine, a brute of a man who will make rapists feel exactly what their victims have felt: fear, horror, physical pain, mental anguish, and the shame and guilt that rape victims carry even though what happened to them is NOT their fault. However, before their quest can truly begin, Emma's going to need a bit of closure; she is going after the man who brutalized her over and over again when she was just a child. And there will be...NO MERCY.

   Amigo Comics is really setting itself up as the new house of horror in the modern comics world. They follow up their sleeper-hit, "Straightjacket," with this atmospheric, gory take on the exploitation  film in comics form - more specifically, the rape-and-revenge sub-genre. In the same vein as I Spit On Your Grave, Emma survives her hellish encounters, puts aside her moral code, and decides to exact the vilest revenge on those that have hurt her in such an intimate fashion - but death is not Emma's goal. Oh, no. Her goal is suffering - to make the rapists suffer as have their victims, balancing the scales of justice. Jennifer Van Gessel and El Torres pen this bloody, violent tale balancing on a very sensitive theme; and they pull it off rather well. Nacho Tenorio's and Sergio Mora's pencils are spot on for this story - horror, fear, sorrow, desperation, innocence and innocence lost - these two artists are in great form in this book.

   While I would rather see Emma exact revenge at her own hands, taking back her power without male assistance, I can see how this arrangement might work. Sometimes, we need the assistance of others to recover that which we have lost. Sometimes, we need support...And in its own twisted way, I guess that's what the relationship between The Rape-Machine and Emma Spencer is, support. If rape-and-revenge movies like I Spit On Your Grave, and Hard Candy are your cup of tea, you will absolutely dig this comic. However, if not, steer way clear of this one. It's going to dark places.

RATING: 8 out 10. Some might say that this has similarities to "Hack/Slash," but the similarities are only passing.

**Disclaimer: This book is NOT for children, nor those with weak dispositions - strong language and strong sexual themes (including rape).

*Speculator alert: Amigo Comics' first issues usually sell for higher prices on eBay due to VERY, VERY short print runs.

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Thanks for reading. 

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