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REVIEW: A rebirth for ‘Pedro Penduko: The Legend Begins’

 
Pedro Penduko The Legend Begins cov
Pedro Penduko The Legend Begins cov
Pedro Penduko The Legend Begins cov

 
Overview
 

Story by: Regene Estolatan
 
Art by: Jerome Jagonia and Dennis Crisostomo
 
Colors by: Randy Monces
 
Letters by: Regene Estolatan
 
Publisher:
 
FG RATING
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


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23 total ratings

 


To sum it all up..

Pedro Penduko is one of National Artist in Visual Arts Francisco Conching‘s greatest pop cultural creations. I primarily remember this cultural icon in the movie version which either Janno Gibbs and/or Hubert “Bistek” Bautista played the titular character. In the age of post-modernity/millennials, however, this icon is anything but a relic of the bygone era […]

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Posted August 30, 2016 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Pedro Penduko The Legend Begins cov

Pedro Penduko is one of National Artist in Visual Arts Francisco Conching‘s greatest pop cultural creations. I primarily remember this cultural icon in the movie version which either Janno Gibbs and/or Hubert “Bistek” Bautista played the titular character. In the age of post-modernity/millennials, however, this icon is anything but a relic of the bygone era of both Philippine comics and movie industries. However, to maintain the sense of relevance, everything nostalgic or past stuffs should be fused with modern sensibilities. EPIK Studios take this challenge seriously and come up a 21st century revisionist take on the Philippine cultural imagery with PEDRO PENDUKO: THE LEGEND BEGINS.

Regene Estolatan serves as the main writer, Jerome Jagonia does the visuals, Dennis Crisostomo draws the chapter cover pages, and Randy Monces does the coloring. It has eight chapters and all pages are glossy, worth the price.

As said earlier, this book is an overall team effort to bridge the old Pedro Penduko imagery to new modern sensibility. Thus, the story is primarily an origin story because it starts with a clash of two powerful enemies with an offspring who was later adopted and grown in the Land of Dreams and Honey, but tragedy strikes and forces him to look on his roots. In other words, the return of the lost-long son, answering questions, and ultimately, being trained to defeat the source of his predicament.  The tropes used are primarily old-fashioned for they are strikingly similar with the Karate Kid series and our very own Stone (by Whilce Portacio and Gerry Alanguilan). However, the pacing is surprisingly sharp, even the emotional tone is well-placed akin to a good drama story (particularly the mother-son relationship, plus the possible blossoming romance angle). And, the illustrations are oozing with kinetic energy as if the artist is ready to combat evil supernatural entities himself. Furthermore, the utilization of ancient baybayin (scripts) and terminologies are commendable to give new readers and future artists something to be inspired on to use these elements in their artistic endeavors.

Aside earlier, there are some dialogues are a little bit mushy. There are some artworks that are very rough, if not edgy, to view. And, older readers may find this revisionist take way darker than the previous incarnations of Pedro Penduko, particularly the movie version(s).

Pedro Penduko The Legend Begins 01

Regardless, Pedro Penduko: The Legend Begins serves its purpose of revitalizing the old pop icon to the millennial generation. It has an interesting origin, though the familiarity of the tropes applied here are glaring. And after reading this twice, I say there should be a need of a convergence of Philippine supernatural comic series, like a crossover between Skyworld, Trese, and even Pedro Penduko. Let’s cross-fingers, shall we?


Paul Ramos

 


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