By: Ross Richie (creator), Carey Malloy (writer), Scott Godlewski (art), Stephen Downer (colors) & Johnny Lowe (letters)
The Story: The team of CIA hacker/agents continues to try to rescue their kidnapped team-member Stan and we learn more about team-leader Foster’s past with the villain.
What’s Good: “Well, it isn’t bad.” Honestly, there’s nothing about this series that just lunges out at me as being stink-o and sometimes that is an achievement in itself. Usually with a poor espionage comic, I can see the plot twists coming a mile away. Codebreakers delivers twists that were not expected. I wouldn’t call them “shocking,” but I’ve read enough of these style books that it takes some cleverness to keep me off balance. I don’t really want to divulge the twists too much here because it will defeat the purpose of reading the comic yourself, but let’s just say that we learn more about the code that Stan is asked to crack and Foster’s past.
The art is star of this 4-issue series for me. Godlewski does a really nice job of giving all the characters a distinct look and changes styles effectively on the flashback pages. I would also say that his style is very appropriate for an espionage story. I really don’t need to see the pinnacle of JH Williams-style zaniness in an espionage comic (although saying that, I’m sure Mr. Williams could make me eat my words). It would be nice if more artists went in for self-contained art that tells the story!
What’s Not So Good: Let’s just say that before typing this review, I had to go back through the issue to remind myself what everyone’s name was. It simply wouldn’t do to call them “old guy”, “computer chick”, “kidnapped kid” and “middle-aged leader who might be a bad-ass”. The trouble with this story is that is just fairly average. Not “bad,” mind you… just average.
I also think that there might be a few too many characters for a 4-issue miniseries.
Conclusion: Not bad, but average. There’s nothing here that would make you hand it to a buddy and say “Hey! You have to read this!”
– Dean Stell