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The Activity #1 – Review

By: Nathan Edmondson (writer), Mitch Gerads (art & letters) & Kyle Latino (colors assists)

The Story: Edmondson & Gerads bring us a new series about a covert action team.

Three Things:

1. Tight espionage thrillers are needed. - It always amazes me that we don’t have more comics in the espionage genre.  I mean, even if comics are mostly sold to geeky guys who like superheroes, I think those geeky guys also like espionage.  So, this is probably a smart entry by Edmondson and Gerads.  It is very much in the vein of Mission Impossible: Small team assigned with difficult tasks that they accomplish as much via stealth and brains as by brute force and firepower.  Judging from his past writings, Edmondson should be very good at this type of subject matter.  For one thing, it isn’t that far afield from his very good Who is Jake Ellis? and for another, Edmondson seems the type of writer who does his homework to make sure he gets the technical stuff correct.

2. Nice intro/meet-the-team issue. - This issue didn’t try anything too complicated.  It just introduced us to the team through the eyes of its newest member.  That’s always a reliable and intimate way to view this type of action (the alternative being a story told in complete third person like GI Joe).  And the creators take us on a few simple little missions.  These aren’t action epics….just quickies that show what kinds of things the team can do.  They can shoot when they have to, but they’re just as happy to stay behind the scenes and use high tech gadgets.  I’d imagine that we’ll be getting multi-issue stories in the future, but this issue does a nice job of kicking things off the new readers.

3. Effective art, NICE coloring. - For a first issue, Gerads and Edmondson are working pretty nicely together.  A few of the action sequences go silent and Gerads is up to the task, nicely taking us through a series of panels where there is no doubt about what is happening.  It’s so nice to see a comic be able to do this without resorting to cumbersome word balloons like bodyguards yelling, “This way sir!  We’ll protect you.”  This type of silent art also has the appropriate effect of speeding the storytelling up during the action sequences.  A word should also be said about the coloring.  My first exposure to Gerads was as the colorist on the Boom! series, Starborn.  He did a great job there and is doing it again on this issue.  He makes wonderful use of blue and otherwise uses background color to establish a mood for the scenes.

Conclusion: A very nicely done first issue.  It introduces the characters and situation about as well as any #1 issue I’ve read in a long time.  Further, it doesn’t leave us with any messy baggage dragging into the second issue.  You should be able to tell whether you like this series by the first issue alone.

Jumping on Point?: They don’t get much better.  Even for a #1 issue, it is especially good at introductions.

Grade: B

-Dean Stell

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One Response

  1. This was a ton of fun! Not too much to really say besides the fantastic art, but I’m definitely sticking with it.

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