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Project D.O.A.: Volume 1    by Jeffrey Nodelman & Wagner Fukuhara order for
Project D.O.A.
by Jeffrey Nodelman
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Project D.O.A. is a homage to pulp adventure novels in manga form. In it, author Jeffrey Nodelman and artist Wagner Fukuhara have created a unqiue mix of SF and adventure that is purely American.

After his girlfriend dies in a horrific lab accident, Dr. Dylan Oliver is obsessed with finding a way to bring her back to life. His lab assistants get caught up in his pursuits whether they like it or not. After a somewhat successful reanimation of a dead mouse, Dylan is convinced he is on the right track, but he needs to make his formula stronger. Trying to relax after work, he opens one of his favorite adventure novels and realizes that a passage in it coincides with a passage in another. As he digs through his pulp lit, he discovers that the books are true, and contain maps to the stories they contain. Soon, he and his assistants are off on their own adventure that will take them to places they thought only existed in fiction.

Project D.O.A., while in the manga style, is very American. Fukuhara is fond of the dark screen tones and cartoonish backgrounds found in the majority of American graphic novels. The characters, if not always realistically proportioned in distance shots, are muscular and full of half-formed lines that represent wrinkles and creases to express emotions.

For me, the first volume of Project D.O.A. started off rather slow, but I think that is because I am not the biggest fan of science fiction. When the story moved into the adventure realm, I became engrossed, so much so that I cannot wait to see where Dylan's team goes next in volume 2. Once the story starts rolling, Nodelman does a nice job of crafting an adventure that is reminiscent of Indiana Jones, and this can really hook a reader.

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