The first four issues of Steven Horry’s Lizard Men eased us through a fairly “normal” setup before whisking the rug from under us at every step so the final third of the six-issue run always had a solid chance of grabbing my attention……and keeping me guessing.
Cue their final Kickstarter and the last two issues fly into our hands in no time and the third issue kicks off with a typically edgy & unexpected set of circumstances that gives us an extra glimpse into the life of singer-turned-PM, Dylan Zamani. The regular world seems to have been left far behind with this one and it feels like a mix of other-dimensions, possible super powers, sinister pacts being formed and unicorns……sooooo many unicorns. Thankfully it feels less obscure than that might suggest and the penultimate issue slaps you in the face with a “pay attention” message that draws you in even further than we were already.
The mix of confusion & explanation continues into the final issue as the plot weaves this way & that before knocking us for six again. The main players are still part of the game but the stakes feel higher and as Dylan’s guide fills him in on some of the more mind-bending elements of where he finds himself it’s an interesting dynamic that’s developed between them. Almost like a skewed version of Quantum Leap where anything is possible and it just happens to have the all-seeing Lizard Men keeping the events within their control.
Steven’s done a brilliant job of keeping things just on the verge of spinning out of control and becoming too surreal and instead has helped Dylan’s questionable past make him relatable before throwing him into chaos with us along fo the ride. That’s meant that every page turn can bring a new question, an unexpected surprise or even an obscure reference that you just know you’ll need for later on.
The art from Catia Fantini has somehow taken a step-up from awesome to awesomer with a much more varied & experimental vibe to her panel layouts in these final two issues which suits the context of the story that’s unfolded perfectly. Similarly, the colours from Chiara Bonacini help embellish the other-worldly direction the story has taken with a great palette that helps blur the worlds around our protagonist exceptionally well. Ken Reynolds polishes that all off with his lettering that helps the longer discussions play out without flooding the pages or encroaching on those layouts.
Six issues of Lizard Men has felt like a mystery wrapped inside an enigma at times but the creative team have kept us from feeling lost with some of the bigger ideas by a slick mix of words, art, colours & letters. A flawed central character has given this an anchor in reality while the world goes nuts around him (& us) and with the twists & turns in the plot keeping us guessing it’s felt like every page turn has brought something new for us to consider which in the end feels like this is much more epic and involved than a mere six issues. Fun, flash, and fucking awesome is the best way I can think to describe the ride with this one…….and I’m hoping for much more.