Raw Blink Productions rides into action with the Helcat crew in Column Vol. 1!!

The following review may contain spoilers. Read at your discretion.

Hey there, J1 Fans! It is moi, Devildriver1313 and I’m going to talk about a book from a new comic book company that I have recently read and had the pleasure of meeting a couple of their members.

Column is an action, comedy comic from Raw Blink Productions about two civilians who get caught up in a war when America is invaded, and they meet a platoon of beautiful ladies who use their feminine wiles and military training to fight back the enemy.

Story synopsis:
The Year is 2029 – America, Invaded!
The enemy is numerous, and their war machines are powerful. Will this small group of Americans be able to fight off the enemy’s advance?

Two civilians, Jack and Hatch (both members of the PA Civil Defense Force) find themselves in the middle of a heated battle when their Civil Defense base is attacked by an armored PLA force. Their fight for survival takes a twist for the beautiful when then 2nd platoon of the 10th Special Missions Unit enters the explosive fray. These fiery ladies of the US Army ride into battle in the metal fury that is the Helcat, an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank.
In Vol. 1, Jack and Hatch meet the crew of the Helcat: L.T. Hunter, SPC McMillan, CPL Adams and PFC Winters. These gorgeous ladies dazzle them with their beauty and deadliness, but they’ll need to focus and work together if they want to survive the day.

Let me just say that this is one of the most interesting comics I have read. Like myself, the creators of Column are fans of 80s action films and video games, so this comic does hit those notes for me. From first glance, the SNK game series Metal Slug comes to mind when looking at the character designs (which looks to have also drawn inspiration from Japanese anime) and environmental detail. Even the weapons and vehicles are reminiscent of Metal Slug. Seriously, put them in the game, it will work. Speaking of the characters, each one has their own unique personality and appearance to compliment it. Example, Private First-Class Alexis Winters has bubbly attitude, so she is always shown to be bright and cheery, added with the fact that she is the platoon’s loader and infantry support, and she seems deceptively strong for someone her size. An example of this is when Jack offers to help Alexis carry a crate full of rockets only to discover that the crate is far heavier than Alexis made it seem since she was able to carry it with minimum effort. The platoon’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Vanessa Hunter, is exactly what you would expect of a strong female character; she has a blonde ponytail, wears sunglasses and takes crap from no one albeit while displaying tough love. By appearance, L.T. Hunter reminds me of Mortal Kombat’s Sonya Blade, but her demeanor can be compared to Margaret Houlihan from M.A.S.H. Tough yet endearing.

Column’s story is driven by a well-blended cocktail of action and comedy. One does not lean too far away from the other. The humor is quick and subtle and assists the dynamic of the action instead of overshadowing it and vice versa. One example is when Hatch and McMillan are pinned by enemy gunfire. Hatch begins to panic and wonders if they are going to die, to McMillan responds by slapping him across the face. They are later rescued by Lexi who eliminates the enemy forces with a large machine gun while wearing a bright smile on her face. Hatch’s expression can be best described as “frightful relief.” Before this, Hatch was trying his best to impress McMillan which led to some comedic banter between them reminiscent of a ‘buddy cop movie.’ The first volume of Column is full of action with Hatch and Jack who come under an attack from the invading army while defending a Pennsylvania Civil Defense Force outpost. These sequences are well illustrated. The action is balanced well in this and does not feel too intense. Mind you, it is intense, but it’s a good intense.

Overall, I have enjoyed reading Column Vol 1 and look forward to future installments from Raw Blink Productions with its interestingly fun characters, well written storyline and intense action mixed with subtle comedy.

Column is created by Creative Director/Lead Writer Tim Morris, Audio Director/Lead Editor Mike Moore and Lead Artist Benjamin Harvey with Thomas F. Zahler (Letterer/Formatting), Matt Dalton (Layout/Logo Design), D. Noble (Final Color Editor), Andava (Cover Artist) and Miss Sashi (Limited Edition Cover).

Raw Blink Productions website

Hear the characters’ voices performed by Funimation voice actors Collen Clinkenbeard, Alexis Tipton, Luci Christian, Cherami Leigh, Joel McDonald, Austin Tindle, Jessica Calvello, Kate Bristol, and Carrie Savage.

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