Archaia Comics Hybrid Bastards! is
probably one of the weirdest and most twisted comics Iíve ever read.
Writer Tom Pinchuk takes something most people are familiar with,
Zeus and the Greek Gods, and turns it completely on its head. Most
people know that, in the legendary tales, Zeus got around. Hell we
saw that in Clash of the Titans yet did any of us ever
consider how that would make Zeusís wife Hera feel? Well thatís what
Pinchuk has done with Hybrid Bastards! and thatís what makes
it so twisted.
Hera is sick of Zeusís illicit affairs so one
night, 18 years ago, she tricks him into getting busy with any
inanimate object he sees. Being King of the Gods Zeusís seed is a
little bit magical and those inanimate objects have now come to life
as Hybrid Bastards. See I told you its some pretty bizarre stuff.
Hera decides to inform Zeus of her trick and Zeus
is now hell-bent on riding the world of his Hybrid Bastard sons. The
sons in particular are Corey (an apple), Walter (a wall), Cotton (a
collection of clothes), Carmine (a car) and Panos, whose twisted
birth isnít as obvious as the others. Panos decides that working
together is the groupís best chance for seeking revenge on Zeus and
for staying out of the clutches of his goons. You see in Pinchukís
world Zeus has fallen from his lofty position as King of the Gods
and now he occupies the position of crime lord. The brothers embark
on a revenge plan against Zeus thatís rather hilarious and involves
Pinchuk has really gone all out to create a truly
wicked and outrageous story and the result is an entertaining read.
The dialogue is very cartoony, like the couple at the beginning that
is its not overly serious fare but very entertaining. Pinchuk lets
the story run on for just the right amount of time avoiding the
temptation to drag it out longer than it should be and throughout
you are left wondering what crazy thing Pinchuk will think of next
right until the unexpected ending. Itís like he implants this weird
sense of curiosity in you that demands you read through it as
quickly as you can so you can find out what heís going to throw at
The brothers are the standout characters in the
book as they are the most prominent and fully developed. Each of
them has a unique personality making them standout from the rest.
Panos is the leader of the group and somewhat stuck in the past;
Cotton is the brains of the group who is studying to be a lawyer
(seriously!), Carmine is a reluctant participant who just wants to
be part of a family, Walter is loud, destructive and inconsiderate,
like a teenager can be, and Corey is the forgotten one of the group
who is somewhat useless and self depreciating. They interact well
and you do get that sense that they are actually brothers, just
somewhat different from normal.
The art, from Kate Glasheen, is just as crazy as
the story. It has a real cartoony, chaotic look with no real sense
of realism in the way characters are drawn or the page pieced
together and this really compliments the rather silly premise of the
story. It would be weird to see very realistic, dark images
accompanying such an absurd story. The one difficulty in the style
is the absence of your traditional page layouts with easy to follow
panels and thereís a lot happening on each page all over the page.
At times it was difficult to follow the flow from one part to the
next due to the page layout.
Hera is brilliantly designed, looking very
reminiscent of Cruella de Vil, a look that suits her scheming
character very well. Meanwhile the brothers are also well designed
and, apart from Panos, easy to identify (in terms of what they
actually are). There was also something about their designs which
reflected their personalities. Panos was muscled and a bit of a
poser reflecting his strong will and traditional outlook. Corey was
round with small arms and legs making him incapable of doing much,
reflecting his relative impotence on the team while Walter was big
and strong, reflecting his youthful, act first attitude and Cotton
somehow reminded you of a snobby English gentleman, reflecting his
intellect and sense of almost being above the groupís revenge plan.
Finally, Carmine through his big eyes and what you would call ears
has a look of innocence to him. It was great the way Glasheen
managed to capture these aspects in their respective designs.
is a ridiculously enjoyable read. Itís something new and different
and itís really aided by not taking itself too seriously. Even
though the brothers want revenge itís something more in line with
their personality and not some epic, clichťd revenge plan. Glasheen
produces some good art that may not be everyoneís cup of tea but it
serves the comic well. Finally, it comes bundled with a ton of
extras including two bonus stories and extra artwork. If you like
your stories twisted and fun then Hybrid Bastards! is for