by Franco Frescura and Giorgio Trevisan,
cover by Ladrönn.
Black and white
5 x 8, 248 pages,
US$ 20.95 + $3.00 p&h
ISBN # 1-932983-62-7 / 978-1-932983-62-3
- Foreword by Stan Lee
- Introduction by Jean-Marc Lofficier
- Mister Song #1-#3 by Franco Frescura & Giorgio Trevisan
- Silver Shadow by Franco Frescura & Giorgio Trevisan
Story: An international organization fights crime.
Synopsis doesn’t tell you much does it? I thought “Let it wait -it’s just a crime book!” What a mistake to make.
C.L.A.S.H. stands for Corporate Liabilities, Assets and Securities Holdings. It’s a multinational insurance company based in Aspen, Colorado. Or that’s what you are meant to believe because, just as Tom Adams’ character Charles Vine in Licensed To Kill and the follow-ups was no vacuum-cleaner salesman, so C. L. A. S. H. is not all it seems.
The acronym actually stands for Consortium for Law-enforcement Action and the Security of Humanity.
How can I describe it? Think of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. combined with Marvel Comics S.H.I.E.L.D. -but with added twists. The villains such as Astaroth are great and the international crime cartel known as CRIMEN…not the same as Hydra or Thrush but they’re up there with the baddies!
Secret headquarters, special jet aircraft, undersea city, karate chops, ju-jitsu and gun-play aplenty but with an added edge that most certainly would never have gotten past the Comic Code Authority.
You see, chief scientist and researcher of C.L.A.S.H., Dr. Kalamazoo, discovered a rare kind of kiaolu mushroom in Western China. He discovered that the extract from this mushroom could free the mind of time and space -but it was too dangerous to store anywhere but where C.L.A.S.H. could get to it.
Mr. Song has to reach the secret locations to get to the extract and use it to get a sort of psychic flashback or insight into a case. Suddenly Moebius and his talk on magic mushrooms at a UK Comic Art Convention makes sense! Mr. Song and Miss Kiss (Sarah Kissinger) are C.L.A.S.H. Special Agents.
There is good dialogue and characterisation by Franco Frescura and good pacing of the action. Italian artist Giorgio Trevisan produces art that just oozes style.
Having only seen C.L.A.S.H. in its later form in the six issue Strangers (Image Comics), this was a real eye-opener to me. I knew the French wrote spy thrillers (I read some when I was younger in German) but had no idea about spy comics.
I sometimes think I get spoiled with Cinebook and what it publishes but Hexagon Comics shows a whole new side to French comics -no insult intended, but a sort of French Marvel?
There is a Brief History Of C.L.A.S.H. -ooh, and wait til you see the back-up Silver Shadow strip by the same team.
A superb package that really, like the other Hexagon Comics, ought to be in comic shops in the UK and US.
You might be a late-comer but you can still join the Hexagon Revolution!
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