By Joshua Ortega (Writer), Liam Sharp (Art), and Johnny Rench & Carrie Strachan (Colors)
Some Thoughts Before The Review: Gears of War has been a surprisingly entertaining series so far, even though it’s really a “for fans only” type of thing. While it isn’t breaking any new ground and hasn’t yet done anything essential for the overall Gears storyline, the comic definitely succeeds in translating the gritty violence and machismo of the game to the page. The biggest flaw is the fact that nothing of consequence has happened so far. Furthermore, there doesn’t really seem to be much in the way of plot development. Sure the mindless action has been pretty fun, but it runs the risk of becoming tiresome. Maybe Gears of War #3 will prove to be something of a game-changer and give the series the direction that it has been sorely lacking.
The Story: Jace barely manages to land the plummeting helicopter, and the group of soldiers find themselves a long way from home. During the long walk from the wreckage, Marcus, Dom, and company come across an outpost full of “stranded” people that were unable to reach Jacinto, left struggling to survive in the aftermath of Emergence Day. With the stranded needing protection and the soldiers needing a form of transportation, the two groups come to a mutual agreement. Also, lots of Locusts meet a violent end throughout the issue…as expected.
What’s Good: That Joshua Ortega finally manages to work in some plot development in between all the action and violence. It does wonders for a series that has been incredibly shallow for two issues. With the group now in charge of protecting someone other than themselves, maybe Ortega can actually begin to work in the character depth necessary to put together a story that provides more than just a mindless action fix.
What’s Not So Good: That it is still totally up in the air whether or not the Gears of War comic series will actually connect to the game in any meaningful way. The initial previews said that the series would lead into the plot for Gears 2, but I don’t see any signs of that happening yet. That might wind up being the biggest factor surrounding whether or not I stick with the title to the end.
Conclusion: A step up for the series, Gears of War #3 provides what the comic adaptation has so desperately needed. On the other hand, I am still not sure whether or not early promises are being kept. At least the action delivers and it all looks pretty nice.