The creators of CCSVU provide a nicely diverse cast of characters with two women (at least one of whom is Latina) and at least two non-white men on the precinct animal control team. They don’t all get equal screen time with seven characters and only about thirty pages per issue, but it’s clear that every member of the group is competent in some way and not just around for eye candy or quotas. Vasquez and Gabby, the two women, wear normal animal control uniforms (Gabby is even a fuller figured lady.), and they have characterization beyond being the “girl” in the group; for example, Vasquez is struggling with the traditional expectations of her mother, as well as her inappropriate attraction to her boss while Gabby puts animals above most humans, even when her actions irritate Sarge, her precinct boss.
The plot is straight up procedural with each team heading out to deal with a hybrid animal issue throughout the city; however, the bizarre nature of the gene-spliced critters keeps the surprises coming. The horned mastiff shocked me the most, because I anticipated a dog with steer horns like a longhorn, not a dog-rhino mixture! I’m not sure if the genetic mixes focus only on physical traits or if temperament is affected, as well. Perhaps the remaining two issues will provide more details and answers to some of the questions provoked by the beginning of the story.
Nothing about the artwork for Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit stuck out as being exceptional to me other than the intriguing representations of the hybrid animals. I could guess about weird animal mixes from the appearance of the first tiger-hound, and each new varmint looked distinctly unique. The art style blends cartoon and realism, and the setting is essentially our world with a few little changes. It’s very well done, but I don’t know if I could ID the artist’s work again just from this sample.
If you have a twisted sense of humor and like procedurals, I highly recommend Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit to you. Issue #1 shows potential of interesting tales over the course of the mini-series. I just wish at least one of the plots in this issue resolved rather than all of them being left hanging for the remaining two installments.
4 Mentions of Panda Dogs Peeing on Someone’s Leg out of 5