by Carl R. Jansson
S.H.O.O.T. First is the story of the underground organization, S.H.O.O.T. (The Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce), and their task of defending humanity from the very things they don’t even believe in. This rag tag group of the faithless, using weapons designed by S.H.A.R.D. (Secular Humanist Applications Research and Development) that can only be fired by one completely without faith, have to stop a war between science and religion.
This issue sees them beginning to lose that war, as Egyptian terrorist have hostages, and will only release them in return for the members of S.H.O.O.T. themselves. After taking down a giant pyramid golem, and finding it not to be what they thought it was, the team has to grapple with the fact these things might in fact exist. And to top it all off, we find a traitor amongst the ranks.
Last month I asked if you can remain faithless when staring an angel in the face? This month, Justin Aclin and crew answer that very question, as a member of the team starts believing mid-battle, therefore losing the aid of his weapons. The dialogue this issue is less stiff, and the action is much more exciting. A little less a treatise on faith and the faithless, and the growing divide between the two, and more of what you expect from your four color entertainment. There are definitely some interesting ideas at play here, and a little bit of payoff is starting to drizzle down. Justing Aclin wears his philosophy on his sleeve, and it is a little bit “on the nose” at times, but the story moves very quickly and doesn’t stew in it.
Again, Nicolas Daniel Selma brings a great deal to the story, with a strong sense of storytelling, and a simple art style that keeps the story moving right along. His design for the pyramid golem is fantastic, reminding me very much of a creature Ultraman would battle. Between that and Marlac’s colors, the book is a decent looking one, with not a lot of flash, but truly, none is needed as it would take you away from the story.
The story’s potential is just starting to be fulfilled, with many interesting ideas being explored. If you are looking for something deeper than a great deal of other team books, give this one a look.