Zodiac vs. Deathforce

In Zenescope’s Grimm Universe, there are no two more diametrically opposed anti-heroes than the assassin known as Zodiac and the man they call DeathForce. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before they came to meet. Who will come out on top in their battle and why did it come to pass? Such is the story in Zenoscope’s Grimm Universe Presents Quarterly: Zodiac vs. Deathforce.

Keeping Drugs off the Streets

The story begins in Philadelphia as Zodiac confronts those who oppose the justice he seeks to hand out. Although he is known as a deadly assassin, lately, he is attempting to dispense his justice in a less lethal manner. He promised his late Sister that. Unfortunately, those he faces didn’t seem to get that memo. Sometimes, he wonders if killing these men wouldn’t be easier. However, he needs information. Like who is peddling the drugs they seem so eager to dispense. However, it doesn’t take long for one of the thugs to break. Getting your head slammed into a wall and a gun pointed in your face tends to do that.

Breaking a Promise

Soon, Logan Patrick O’Connell A.K.A. Zodiac is facing the man who appears to behind the poison. It was men like these that caused the death of his beloved Sister Maggie. Now, with each drug peddler he takes down, he sees only those who cost him so dearly. But in this particular case, it is not drugs that these men are attempting to deliver. Instead, it is a young girl. She could be somebody’s sister. Perhaps, in contemplation, taking just one life is acceptable. Just this time. BAM!! Damn! He forgot the driver. BAMM!! Two lives. That’s OK isn’t it? Hopefully, Maggie will forgive him. In the meantime, he will take the girl to safety.

Her name is Joselynn and she claims to be a refuge from Wonderland. The men were trying to deliver her to an envoy who would take her back. At least until Zodiac interfered. But she needn’t be worried. Logan promises her he will protect her. From whoever is coming for her. Did that also cover humanoid flies? I guess it did now. Because here they came.

DeathForce

Elsewhere, Rick Murphy A.K.A DeathForce is keeping vigilance, looking for people in need. He does this with his assistant and computer “artist,” Missy. She picks up the trouble that Zodiac and Joselynn have run into and prepares for Rick to intervene. The fact that they are being assailed by “bug people” doesn’t appear to bother him in the slightest. I guess when you are already dead, it tends to remove your trepidation of what you might run into. Although, the armored man appears to be in less distress than the girl. It is time for DeathForce to lend a hand…or a rocket.

Which is exactly what he does. Blasting away the enemy like flies…so to speak. At least until one gets behind him and impales him with a blade. That should have left a mark. But instead, it just allowed DeathForce to do what he does best. Absorb the life force of his enemy and turn the tables on him. Much to the surprise of Zodiac who thought for sure DeathForce was a goner. However, since DF had the infestations attention, Logan took the opportunity to take Joselynn to safety. To what appeared to be the safest place in the vicinity, the armored vehicle of DeathForce and his partner Missy. Much to the surprise of Missy as he tore through the locks of the vehicle. He asks her to watch Joselynn for him while he aided DeathForce. At least he thought that would be the plan.

Joining the Hive

However, it appeared the Hive had other plans for Deathforce and claimed him for their own. He would now work to their ends. In time, he would help to retrieve Joselynn and return her to Wonderland. But first, he went back to the Hive to recuperate and strengthen himself before his next confrontation with Zodiac. Will Zodiac be able to defeat the hive and their new drone DeathForce? What secrets does Joselynn keep and is she what she appears to be? That my friends, is what we call a tease. The answers will require you to read Grimm Universe Presents Quarterly: Zodiac vs. DeathForce, coming out August 18th from Zenoscope.

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Thoughts

If there’s one thing that Zenoscope excels at is to give the reader compelling action storylines. Whether it is through their Grimm Universe, Neverland, Robyn Hood, or Van Helsing, they sparkle at engaging stories with intriguing characters. No one embodies this narrative style better than Jay Sandlin. Taking on the task of Logan’s Irish dialect, Jay takes charge of these two characters, opposite sides of the same coin and melds them into a unified whole…eventually. It always makes for an intriguing arc when characters go against their initial instincts. Which in their case, is to kill. Sandlin gives each their moments to shine (or whatever it is that Deathforce is doing) while digging deeper into what makes them tick. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Sandlin story if there wasn’t a twist here or there. Zodiac vs. DeathForce doesn’t disappoint in that area either. You just don’t know who to trust these days. Except maybe Zenoscope and Sandlin.

Artwork

Another of Zenoscope’s obvious strengths is their stable of artists. Even, like in this case, where multiple artists combine to take on the project, they produce a quality book with a unified appearance. Between artists Alessandro Uezu, Babisu Kourtis, and Gabriel Raerte, they maintain a high standard of storytelling which isn’t always easy when you divide the workload. When added to the colorwork of Jorge Cortes and Walter Pereyra and the imaginative letterwork of Carlos M. Mangual (Especially when lettering the Hive), it makes for a complete and quite impressive result.

Zenoscope’s Grimm Universe Presents Quarterly: Zodiac vs. DeathForce can be found where all great comic books are sold, starting August 18th.

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