Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 4.1
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Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Ryan Bodenheim

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.50

Unsettling cover aside I am very excited for this new series by Jonathan Hickman. Considering how his last #1 issue from Image went with Manhattan Projects, there was no doubt in my mind this was going to be great. But then I keep forgetting that setting me for greatness can lead to my downfall. With an introduction like that you’re probably thinking I’m going to tear this series a new one. But no, I did quite enjoy this first issue very much….with a couple of exceptions.

This is definitely a Jonathan Hickman book once you start reading it. Conspiracy theories? Check. Rambling monologues? Check. Violent, unsettling moments? Oh you better believe that’s a check. All of that and more come with this first issue in a story that’s about….well to be honest I have no idea what happened. I mean I get the gist of the plot in this issue, but as to what the long haul of this series is? No idea. Which is good, because Hickman does a good job with the slow burn in his storytelling. He definitely will set up for a wild ride in his stories. My only real problem with this issue is that there is so much dialogue and so much time giving us exposition on things that don’t sound important right now. Again I get it that we’re being slowly introduced to this Grant Miller character but the endless monologues about how to protect yourself from hacking seemed a bit aimless. Hickman is definitely a smart man but sometimes it feels like he wants to show off more than actually tell a story. While I’m in no way saying this hurt the issue for me I will say that hopefully we don’t get this type of exposition for the next couple of months.

People might remember Ryan Bodenheim from Hickman’s other Image series, Red Mass for Mars, and if you do remember like I do then you’ll love that fact. Bodenheim’s style is really hard to pin down because it’s really unique. (Although I do see a hint of Steve Dillon from time to time in his designs.) His style is very detailed and when it comes to action he will not limit himself on the violence. Which is why it’s strange he got picked to do, what seems like so far, a slow burn techno thriller. Don’t get me wrong, I loved what I saw in the issue but it is strange a guy like Bodenheim was picked to do this series for now. I do love the coloring in this issue in that only one is picked for each panel to set the mood. Orange or red for the action, with purple and green for the slower moments. Michael Garland, whether he was told to do so by Hickman or not, made a great choice in that and also in the opening pages by using the color red at the right moments.

While I am so down for another Jonathan Hickman ongoing I do have some quibbles from this first issue. The story itself starts a bit too slow for my liking and while Ryan Bodenheim’s pencils are great his style doesn’t seem to mesh with the story we’re getting here. Apart from those nitpicks I am intrigued on what is to come with this series. It’s the old ‘Hickman Curse’ when it comes to his #1 issues. Happily (or sadly) it gets me every time.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. Please read this book and tell me if you think that you and the reviewer above read the same title. This book starts with a bang and keeps banging until the last page. The only thing that I wanted when it was done was more. If the rest of the series is as good as the first issue, this book is a sleeping giant.

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