David Whalen’s the Offspring issues 1 and 2 tells the story of four special people as they work together to find the family of one of their own. Can this series grow into something beyond its predecessors or will it end up orphaned to the back of the shelves?
Publisher: Correct Handed Productions
Writer: David Whalen (Story), Brian Menard (Editor)
Artist: David Whalen, Jason Sylvestre (Colours, Issue 1)
Price: £2.49 from ComiXology
The Offspring follows the interconnecting lives of four former school friends whose lives re-converge when the brother of one of them disappears. Tavish, now all grown up, returns to the quite unusual Blake school and recruits teacher Will, suicidal Vince and the newly released criminal Sara to search for T.J, his brother who was unexpectedly kidnapped that morning. However, this quartet may have bitten off more than they can chew when the kidnappers are revealed to be a dangerous cult fixated on gaining immortality. However, these four rescuers may have a trick or two up their own sleeves in the saving of one of their own.
The Offspring is an enjoyable story which combines a good deal of action and mystery in equal measure. David Whalen has produced a comic with a remarkably good pace, as the story doesn’t feel like it lags at any point in these first issues. The story seems to transcend multiple genres as it progresses with it coming across as a thriller of sorts, an occult focused horror and even a superhero story to a degree. The latter of which seems implied in the latter issue as all four lead characters appear to have some sort of superpowers, not only adding a real twist to the story thus far but also hinting that the title is an X-Men analogy (complete with its own X-Mansion). However, this is not overtly confirmed and this is a good example of the overall problems of the title in that there isn’t enough information given to what is really going on. This, while adding to the intrigue of the series, does make it difficult to understand where the story is going as well as why certain events have happened.
Whalen’s art is every bit the equal to his writing here. His style, which has an air of Sam Webster’s Joe Cape series, does look a little rough in places but this roughness does add to the pencils as it gives the story this rather grimy feel that works well with the crime/horror angle. Meanwhile Jason Sylvestre’s (and later Whalen’s himself) colours are a vibrant palette which really helps the artwork pop and not feel too grim. This work, when combined with some of the more grounded aspects of the characters and story, really gives the title a vibe similar to Harlan Coben’s The Five tv series.
While it’s not perfect, David Whalen’s The Offspring is a really fun, interesting and ultimately fascinating story. While it sets itself up as something akin to a crime thriller of sorts, it’s look and feel hints of it becoming something more. This is a title which is definitely worth a look if nothing else.