It seems like Comic books are the go-to source material when it comes to making new movies, TV shows, and even some games. Comics and superheroes are considered the new “Greek Myths” where complex stories evolve from interesting individuals whose lives possess certain aspects from incredible powers, wealth, knowledge and tragedy. They are indeed the modern-day myths and their influence in the media and even new stories will continue. However we sometimes forget other regions when it comes to myths, legends, and great stories once told.
Even some iconic figures of fiction and worship are often just a mention in many conversations. Well, an upcoming Indie Comic brings light to one figure from one of the most famous regions in the world for stories and history. In recent years, a place that once inspired stories for games like Tomb Raider and even mega-blockbusters with Brendan Frasier. But recently we had Gods of Egypt. No matter, Anubis Dog of Death might change things around hopefully and get its own Netflix series too?
Old Dog, New tricks
Anubis: Dog of Death sees the iconic Egyptian god of death facing a fate actually worse than death. He’s living as a small, very cute dog in modern LA with an owner who’s more focused on bumping up against her Instagram portfolio than sorting out actual life. He begins his journey locked up in a kennel, waiting for adoption and a fresh start to revive his plans for total domination. Come his day of adoption he realizes that he might be able to pull off his grand plan but is aware of two things. Firstly he’s small and not so threatening while knowing also there are others keeping a watchful eye on him.
While the comic I read was less than 30 pages long, I did engage with Anubis and his distinct personality as the main character. His backstory is told very well through short flashbacks that link up to the events in the present day. So when he’s trying to possess one of the workers at the kennel, we see a short collection of panels displaying what his full power was. However, we see the opposite happening in the present, dealing a crushing blow to his confidence. It’s a simple yet thoughtful process for character development making us understand what he once was and what he is now. This is an effective means to display what the constraints are and what he needs to overcome later on to accomplish his goals. We don’t see much else but I’m hoping the writers just don’t make his flat out evil because he’s not.
Who let the Dog of Death out?
Now I actually know a bit about Egyptian mythology as my mum studied it and I grew up in the ’90s when everything and everyone was kind of obsessed with it in the UK. Anubis wasn’t bad, in fact, he’d killed Set (who is a right twat and is the bad guy in games such as Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation) and warned wrongdoers of following his lead. He’s not good either, but rather lawful neutral. But I understand people can write a fictional character, a figure of legend or even the god of civilization passed as they please. Yet it’s genuinely intriguing and can easily capture any comic book lover’s attention.
Other iconic characters of Egyptian mythology also make an appearance and I’m hoping more will. Maybe even Set will appear and it could be an epic battle between the two. It probably helps that Anubis was actually my favorite Egyptian god as a kid and so would like to see the character fleshed out and written well as the story progresses.
Fine looking Doggo
In regards to the art style, presentation and imagery itself, the comic looks pretty good for the most part. I found every panel to have a high level of detail, showing even the smallest wrinkles on some random guy’s head as he was shot with an arrow. There were a couple of panels in particular that looked pretty excellent showing off some great attention to detail, nice use of color and creativity for framing the shots. One panel sees Anubis pushing back a group of soldiers away with great force and a couple of them are literally flying out of the panel. I do like this creative approach as it makes the comic feel more alive and not constraint by the boards of the panel.
But Doggo lacks some variation and motion
My only main problem is that in quite a few panels, background characters look a little stiff and in general there’s a lack of variation of stances and movement. Every background/supporting character looks like they move the same or just hold a stance which is near identical to the person next to them. What makes a great image is conveying life in a still image. You can have as much detail on a character and that looks great, but if you have a bunch of characters looking, acting and posing the same then it feels a little unnatural.
Look at a comic like Spawn or Batman, when there’s a fight happening each background character or thug is making a different stance compared to the next one. They feel like they each have their own purpose, though process and identity. It may sound silly but if you were to look at video games and take an example like Resident Evil 2 Remake, what makes the zombies cool is that they all act and move differently from one another.
Adding another layer to the world and making it feel organic. The comic looks great and has a nice amount of details, but I like to see the artists add a little more variation into crowd/fighting scenes in order to make them feel more organic.
Anubis: Dog of Death looks nice and flows perfectly well to illustrate a powerful character’s rise, fall, and revival. All accomplished in a manner that’s not tediously straight forward or overly complicated. It looks nice, flows well and the story is on the right path to offer a compelling narrative. Even the weird use of green and red in the same image looks pretty cool as it conveys a strange and unsettling feeling very well. Hopefully, the people behind it can produce another installment soon as I believe this could be the beginning of a very refreshing and entertaining comic.
This review is based on the unreleased first issue provided by the comic book team
Anubis: Dog of Death
The first issue of Anubis: Dog of Death is an intriguing one that if done right, could be a compelling tale of a famed God seeking his return to glory.
- Looks really nice
- Interesting story
- Cool use of Egyptian Mythology
- Some scenes look a little uneventful and lack motion
- Early days but hope Anubis isn't just a straight up bad guy
Colouring and Lettering