Opening at the FBI headquarters with folks walking about in suits going about their day you’d think this book was about boring politicians. Then things start to blow up. After speaking with its creators we’re hooked as this breakneck action fest aims to suck us in with its first issue.
Writer: Alex de Campi
Artist: ChrisCross (with color by Snakebite Cortez)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Marcus King: modern-day Robin Hood or terrorist? Maybe both? When Marcus comes face to face with an adversary who knows all of his carefully buried truths, he’s forced to become the man he has always pretended to be. And punch a small army of dudes. And blow up stuff. Lots of stuff.
Why does this book matter?
With the track record of Alex de Campi, CrissCross, and Snakebite Cortez we’re in good hands. The art will be realistic and de Campi’s writing will be well researched. All together it’s a good collection of realistic drama creators making a comic at Dark Horse — a publisher that has been printing great hits one after the other.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
You can tell this dude is an a-----e.
This issue opens well, with some white folks in suits arguing within the FBI over what just happened. They’ve been attacked, and they’re afraid–something they’re not so familiar with–and it’s Marcus King who did it. Before the story can tell us what happens next though, de Campi takes us back to the days where King becomes better than anybody who came before him. Set in North Africa we quickly learn who King was at the time and he comes off as a straight laced soldier type. The funny thing is, the hell of war can change a man and it’s clear that hellishness is what this series aims to explain.
The art in this book is quite good, with a thinner line and sketchier style that’s fast and loose. The style keeps the visuals grounded and that helps sell the story as gritty and real. ChrisCross does a heck of a job with clothes and technology, with some wicked helicopters and vehicles popping up. In one nearly full page spread, ChrisCross shows off King’s wife (or is it girlfriend?) in a beautiful gown with sugar skulls and other symbols on it. The coloring in this page is gorgeous and hyper realistic. It creates a sense that this woman is a vision which is certainly accomplishes. On another page, a full page spread shows off King’s first encounter with a colonel he was sent to kill. In the back of a mac truck he sits amongst treasures with only his lit up yellow sunglasses visible on his face. He’s like some kind of monster and it’s a great page.
“Holiday,” is not in an American’s vernacular!
It can’t be perfect can it?
I think time jumps at one point in this book, though there’s no detail or caption telling us this. It goes from King in North Africa to some expensive island. At least I assume it’s King! It’s hard to tell given he’s not dressed the same and there’s no visual connection between the scenes. It’s a tad jarring and it left me questioning what was happening.
I’m all for a good tease, but the opening pages set up something that’s never touched upon for the rest of the issue. It’s clearly a long game strategy–and it’ll read better collected–but by the end of this issue I wasn’t sure where the story as a whole was going.
Is It Good?
This is an action packed first issue that sets up a strong protagonist who is very good at what he does. It doesn’t rip off or steal from any of the other action/spy dramas you’ve seen and it’s clearly putting a stake in the ground to be something fresh and new.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!