wl_dn_01_cov_400Picture a time when demonic monsters and horrible creatures can easily find their way to Earth, preying on the weak and innocent, devouring flesh and souls. Only one man has what it takes to stop them: Warlash, a seldom talking bad ass complete with body armor, guns, knives, a scorpion-like tail that has been the bane of many a monster, and an inner monologue that reads (as the title would imply) like a Noir film. Published by Asylum Press, Warlash: Dark Noir #1 is a slash’em up action packed battle royale as the hero combats four different monstrosities in four separate short stories filled with stuff that makes you go “What the hell?” and “Awww nasty!” The tales are all written by Frank Forte, but feature different artists giving each it’s own specific look and feel.

Previews of each short story:

Phlegm Fatale Part 1

Warlash suspects biologist Alexander Pyke to be trafficking an illegal substance between Russia and the United States. To confirm his suspicion, he sends rich beauty, Jessica Lockhart, on an espionage mission by going on a date with Pyke. Things take a turn for the worst, however, as Pyke turns out to be a large, horny, serpentine creature set to ‘defile’ Lockhart and create a new life form that will aid in the further evolution of humanity. This doesn’t sit well with Warlash, and in the confines of a city sewer, he has every intention of stopping Pyke…

Wormwar Part 1

A group of renegade bio scientists called the Necroworm, have gained possession of biotechnology. Warlash stakes them out in an effort to rid his city of the worm infestation. Before he can stop his human adversaries though, Warlash quickly finds himself pitted against a giant metallic worm that makes Shai-Hulud look like fish bait…

wl_dn01_pg15_ww3_600The Demon

Intercepting a call on a police scanner where a hysterical woman claims to have heard terrified screams coming from a neighboring building, Warlash investigates. What he finds is a room full of shredded corpses and a large pentagram painted on the floor. The monster hunter knows he’s in for a battle, when suddenly a giant red horned demon appears, ready to rent Warlash asunder. The demon has fed on the bodies and souls of the weak minded kids who conjured his spirit with a mouth that looks like a relative of the Great Pit of Carkoon. Upon seeing the horror, Warlash’s inner monologue reads, “I’m taken aback by the monstrosity before me.” A moment’s hesitation is all the demon needs to taste another delicious human soul…

Grubbs

Grubbs, a sex hungry former pimp who has contracted so many STD’s in his time that he has developed an infectious touch and a horrible skin disease that looks like “fly larvae was growing just under his skin.” Nasty. As he started to deform, his working girls began to mock him behind his back. After fleeing town, Grubbs has decided to come back to enact some revenge on his former employees; he plans to turn them into disgusting creatures like himself. Warlash looks to prevent Grubbs from adding to his ranks, but before he can get to him, Grubbs is attacked by a group of mob guys looking to kick his head in…

Frank Forte’s scripts, while similar in structure, are full of action and highlight the cunning and wit of Warlash. This is fitting for an introductory issue and Forte does a nice job of sticking with the Noir theme, presenting Warlash as a tough, intelligent protagonist. His setting is the underworld of Pittsburgh, and it is reminiscent of Gotham City wl_dn01_pg26_dn04_6001except that instead of psychopathic costumed humans running around, it’s evil human devouring monsters.

Props to all the artists who convey the battle scenes clearly, complete with gratuitous gore, and a structure that makes combative sense. Forte’s art in Fatale is sketchy and rough, whereas Szymon Kudranski’s illustrations in Wormwar feature blurred borders around solidly drawn characters, giving it a more realistic feel. Marcin Ponomarew’s work in The Demon uses solid lines and fearsome close ups, giving the reader some awesome takes on how Warlash utilizes his scorpion-esque tail. Steve Mannion’s illustrations truly have a Noir feel, as his tale is told in black and white. His characters are both beautiful and gross and his different panel layout is conductive to the story.

Non-stop action, solid art, and twisted writing is the modus operandi of this comic. If monster butt kicking is your thing, than Warlash Dark Noir #1 is worth checking out!


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