The newest trade paperback on the market from Zenescope Entertainment is Guardians, written by Ralph Tedesco with artwork by Carlos Granda. It tells the story of a guardian angel, Tabbris, who can’t seem to be there for his humans when he is supposed to. Instead, he’d rather partake in their sin and vice with them. Heaven has had enough and sentences Tabbris to purgatory, where he is to stand guard. He’s paired with an angel, Nathaniel, who just does not know what he is doing. While our heroes are stuck in purgatory, Shax and Artera come up from hell, by order of Az to bring about the apocalypse. Tabbris and Nathaniel must now become unlikely heroes.
Ralph Tedesco did a great job with the story. It has hints of Hellblazer especially with the language and dark overtones which is why I enjoyed it. It is a trade paperback but the story moved very well. It did not seem long at all which is always a plus. There are a few pop culture references which will give a few laughs and chuckles along the way. Tabbris is a well-developed character we see how he went from this glorious guardian of biblical and historical figures to a guardian who could barely keep himself together nevermind the human in his charge. Guardians is very well written and enjoyable.
Carlos Granda’s artwork is amazing. Again, you get that Hellblazer vibe seeing strip clubs and dive bars filled with cigarette smoke located in a back alley part of the city. The illustrations of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory were superb. Granda made heaven to be this place of gold and clouds filled with endless light and singing while Purgatory was this gritty, rundown slum-looking place that no one would dare go to. He made Hell one large strip club with scantily-clad women and alcohol everywhere. Other than Hellblazer, I have never seen subject matter turned into a piece of work that is so much fun and entertaining yet thought-provoking at the same time. I cannot forget the team of Anthony Spay and Ivan Nunes who knocked the cover art out of the park!
Guardians is the complete opposite of the story of angels that we heard at Sunday school. While it is darker and harsher than the traditional stories, it does show how we are all fallible, human and angel alike. Each and every one of us has desires and vices which we can either fight or give in to. I know a story is great when something like that comes out of it. I would highly recommend reading this book just for what can be taken from it. The story is top-notch with the illustrations and cover art to match. Don’t be scared off by the length of the book because you will get so into it, you’ll be done before you know it.
Written by Ralph Tedesco
Art by Carlos Granda
Colors by Jason Embury (pg. 3-26), Jeff Balke (pg. 27-74) and Chiara Miriade (pg. 75-99)
Letters by Jim Campbell (pg. 3-26) and Micah Myers (pg. 27-99)
Cover by Anthony Spay and Ivan Nunes