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Review: Hero Cats Of Skyworld (Issues 16-18)

The concept behind Hero Cats is relatively simple: it’s cats, but in a fantasy setting. They’re heroic–putting their lives on the line for human and feline companions alike. The latest issues expand the Hero Cats world from Stellar City to a brand new, mysterious planet; the titual “Skyworld” which, as it turns out, exists at the core of Jupiter.

Hero Cats is firmly in the middle of the road, quality-wise. The book is an easy introduction to comics for younger readers without over-simplifying. While the main cast leans on archetypes to fill in a classic fantasy quest party, the character development is engaging and exciting. Combine that with a plot just shy of formulaic and the book remains fun without becoming remarkable.

Writer Kyle Puttkammer makes up for stock character design with interesting relationships between cats, humans, and the supernatural realm of creatures. Lead Hero Cat Bandit is out of his element, and must navigate a literal new world of challenges in order to save both Sky World and his home Stellar City from annihilation. Puttkammer skips over chunks of time that may, in a book for older readers, be spent on “side quest” type stories or more complex character studies. For simplicity’s sake, though, when the solution to a Hero Cat problem is discovered, it is often executed off-screen. A perfect example is Maddie, the kitten haunted by angels and demons alike, who learns to control these supernatural voices in between issues.

Another element that keeps Hero Cats from landing completely in a “skip” pile is Omaka Schultz’s art work, particularly with the cats themselves. They are illustrated in such a way that blends both realistically feline and supernaturally powerful movements. Battle scenes practically jump off the page. For comic book vets, this is par for the course. The illustration style overall is remniscent of webcomics like Looking For Group—there is something sterile or digital about the art that makes it an easy “in” for new readers.

Overall, Hero Cats is a fun romp in a simple universe that can sometimes read like a marketing ploy. Each planet in the solar system is ostensibly protected by a different team of Hero Cats. Each trade reveals a different “realm”—one for each planet of the solar system. The formulaic format does, however, make it an easy comic to pick up from almost anywhere.

Story: Kyle Puttkammer Artist: Omaka Schultz Colorist: Julie Barclay
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read (for kids), otherwise skip

Action Lab comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Hero Cats of Skyworld TPB

HERO CATS OF SKYWORLD TPB (COLLECTS HERO CATS #16-18)

Writer(s): Kyle Puttkammer
Artist Name(s): Omaka Schultz
Cover Artist(s): Omaka and Schultz (Inks), Julie Barclay (Colors), George Gant (Letters)
96 pgs./ E / FC
$11.99

Bandit of Earth meets the Hero Cats of Skyworld for the first time! A perfect place for new readers to discover the exciting and dangerous realm ruled by Corvus the Crow King.

Preview: Hero Cats of Skyworld Pt. 3 (Hero Cats #18)

HERO CATS OF SKYWORLD PT. 3 (HERO CATS #18)

Writer(s): Kyle Puttkammer
Artist Name(s): Omaka Schultz (inks), Julie Barclay (colors)
Cover Artist(s): Omaka Schultz
32 pgs./ E / FC
$3.99

Bandit and the Hero Cats of Skyworld are in for the fight of their lives as they confront the Crow King and his wretched warriors. It’s time to storm the castle in this all-out action-packed issue.

3-part story covers connect to form a huge poster!

Preview: Hero Cats #17

HERO CATS OF SKYWORLD PT. 2 (HERO CATS #17)

Writer(s): Kyle Puttkammer
Artist Name(s): Omaka Schultz
Cover Artist(s): Omaka Schultz
Inks: Omaka Schultz
Colors: Julie Barclay
32 pgs./ E / FC
$3.99

Locked away with a Brain, an Athlete, a Basket Case, and a Princess. It’s detention time for Bandit. The Hero Cats of Skyworld meet for the first time!

3-part story covers connect to form a huge poster!

Preview: Hero Cats of Skyworld Pt. 1 (Hero Cats #16)

HERO CATS OF SKYWORLD PT. 1 (HERO CATS #16)

Writer(s): Kyle Puttkammer
Artist Name(s): Omaka Schultz
Cover Artist(s): Omaka Schultz
Inks: Omaka Schultz
Colors: Julie Barclay
32 pgs./ E / FC
$3.99

A new beginning! Bandit is transported to the Crow King’s realm and it’s a land of magic, dark spirits, and fairies.

Featuring new Hero Cats – Lancelot, Sapphire, Newton, and Madalyn. This is a perfect starting point for new readers.

Action Lab Delivers Even More New Series in 2017

If the first three months were any indication, 2017 looks to be a breakthrough year for Action Lab Entertainment. Fresh on the the heels of their largest release ever with DollFace #1, Action Lab has announced its next wave of creator-owned series. Upcoming titles include Spencer & Locke, Medisin, Kid Sherlock and two Hero Cats series, Hero Cats of Skyworld and Midnight Vol. 2.

Find out what happens if Calvin & Hobbes grew up in Sin City with Action Lab: Danger Zone’s Spencer & Locke in April.

Written by David Pepose and illustrated by Jorge Santiago, Jr., Spencer & Locke follows Detective Locke, who returns to the scene of his horrific upbringing when his grade-school sweetheart, Sophie Jenkins, is found dead in a lonesome back alley. But when Locke’s investigation dredges up menacing figures from his traumatic past, there’s only one person he can trust to help him close the case — his childhood imaginary panther, Spencer.

Fans of Ed Brubaker’s Criminal, Nick Spencer’s Thief of Thieves, and the work of Bill Watterson will love Spencer & Locke.

In May, Action Lab welcomes Medisin, a six issue mini series from Action Lab’s Danger Zone about healthcare for super villains.

Health care for super villains. What a concept. Ethan Sharp leads a team of down on their luck doctors who have been blackmailed by the sinister Malady into providing medical care for the worst super villains in the world. Ethan and his team are all broken individuals, struggling with their own personal issues. Are they upholding their Hippocratic Oath to “first, do no harm”? They struggle with these ethical dilemmas as they strive to escape from the grasp of Malady, who has all of them on a very tight leash. Ethan comes to terms with his own family history and learns a terrifying truth about himself along the way.

Fans of the Suicide Squad and Breaking Bad will love Medisin!

May also marks the continuation of the all-ages series Hero Cats with Hero Cats of Skyworld and Midnight Vol. 2.

What if the Breakfast Club took place in a Dungeons & Dragons world? Now imagine that the jock, the criminal, the princess, the brain, and the basket case are all cats. Get ready for the wildest stories ever told in – “The Hero Cats of Skyworld”!

Midnight is a black cat wielding the claws of justice. He has to find a way to save the world! Take James Bond and Batman, mix it with some beautiful Frank Miller inspired art, and throw in a prison break. What do you get? An instant hit for cat loving fans everywhere!

June marks the beginning of the all-ages comedy mystery series Kid Sherlock.

John Watson is nervous being the only dog at his new school, Baker Elementary. But when he takes an interest in fellow student, Sherlock Holmes, the two become unlikely, and sometimes contentious, friends. Together they deal with bullies, track down lost toys, investigate stolen playground equipment, and even face an unseen threat terrorizing the school halls. All the while Watson tries to help Sherlock make friends with his fellow students and Sherlock tries to help Watson become a better detective.

In addition to these upcoming titles, Action Lab will continue to publish their all-ages series such as comic legend Peter David’s Artful, the sci-fi series Blue Hour and ZAG Entertainment’s Miraculous. Action Lab’s mature imprint, Danger Zone, will continue its various series, including AmeriKarate, DollFace, The Circle, Tomboy, Vampblade and Zombie Tramp.