Publisher BDG Entertainment
Writers Adam Slutsky & Joseph Phillip Illidge
Illustrator Shawn Martinbrough
Colors Andrew Dalhouse & Felix Serrano
First off I’d like to thank Rip Town Media for supplying a copy of this book for our review. Next, for a fun time you should also go to http://ayreforce.bodoglife.com/ and check out the website. It is really well done and has that action/adventure mode to it that no other book I have seen can match.
I have learned in life that it is always best to start with what you like about something before you talk about what you did not like. This has actually benefited me in both business and personal situations.
The art work on this book was extremely well done. Shawn Martinbrough know how to layout a book and tell a story. From the opening page until the book closes the art is easy to follow and very nice to look at. Shawn comes from the darker style of art world and is what is being called a noir style. Mike Mignola is probably the most influential artist in this category, but Shawn’s is lighter in tone then Mike’s work. Also Shawn can drawn distinctive faces very well and with such a large cast of characters in this book it was a very important element. The action scenes were so well done that you wish the movies could match what he does with a few style pictures.
The story itself was like a Mission Impossible type story, mixed with GI Joe and Tony Stark and everything else thrown in for good fun. The actual action/adventure itself was a decent and harmless popcorn type of entertainment. Calvin Ayre is an ex-mercenary who was a highly skilled covert operations person. For various reasons he and his gal Friday (a super sexy and incredible smart girl with a photographic memory) have to go free lance. Amazingly enough she sets him up as a playboy/billionaire. He then gathers all of these people who are musicians, fighters or whatever and turns them into Ayre Force and is fighting against an evil genius who runs a pharmaceutical company.
The opening of the story is them freeing bears that are having their bile harvested for certain drugs. This is the type of plight I was unaware was even occurring until I read this graphic novel. Of course I don’t think we would have a security force of armed helicopters and such guarding them, but then where would the action be without some creative license. We have a lot of high octane action, some political intrigue, a super powered villain force and ultimately the good guys win. As a story for the 10-14 year old boy crowd, who likes video games I think this is a good book.
The problems I have with this book is that first I’m nowhere near being a 10-14 year old boy and I have read better premises on a monthly basis from many writers. In just re-reading my own explanation of it, the book sounds a little lame on the surface, but you have to read the back of the book to understand what is going on.
This is a vanity project and Calvin Ayre is an extraordinarily wealthy individual who founded Bodog Entertainment. The group is based on real people who have then been turned into super hero versions of themselves. He has devoted the bulk of his time to his Foundation where he is trying to help out in a lot of humanitarian causes. This book is designed to highlight some of those issues. I can’t help but applaud some of the efforts of this Foundation as it purports itself to be.
As a graphic novel for the adolescent boys who are big into video games this is a decent graphic novel.
For any older group I think the premise will come across as a bad Tom Cruise Mission Impossible Movie (which I think is all of them).
In order for this to have a broader appeal the premise needs to be more believable and the book feels like it was writing down to a younger audience, which I believe is a mistake. I also think it suffered from having too many things it had to do and therefore was not an organic story.
Final Result – Great Art / Fun story for the right audience.