Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by Lou Iovino
Illustrated by Wilton Santos, Chiara Colasanti, Daniel Maine
Renan Shody & Ario Murti
Coloured by Hedwin Zaldivar, Grostieta, Ceci De La Cruz
Michael Bartolo & Dono Sanchez Almara
Lettered by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios
The world has become a dangerous place. Highborns and monsters from the Realms of Power hide in plain sight. Now the world’s leaders are looking to exploit their powers for their own gain, using them as spies and assassins for covert missions. But the Highborn Initiative is there to balance the scales with their own group of super powered spies. Led by Britney Waters, better known now as the Red Agent, her team travels the world battling the forces of evil that lurks in the shadowy world of espionage and secret intelligence.
Alright here we go this is what I was kind of hoping this series would be about. I’m not just talking going out on missions and fighting folks but the whole mystery and intrigue that’s been added to this issue. As Britney’s team seems to be garnering some respect by having Interpol request their help we see how things are never quite what they seem to be. This is what Lou does he takes the idea and twists things so the surface needs to be scratched to reveal the true motivations and I can’t get enough of that.
It’s really nice to see the team in action against a Highborn worthy of their attention. I also like the way this story is structured. It has that whole why is this happening which isn’t explored so that it can come back at a later date to be looked at. Britney will end up having to realise what she and her team did and think about what’s happening to the guy they captured. Or he’s going to escape and they’ll have that moment where they realise they’ve all been duped and either way it’s something to look forward to.
The characterisation is really strong here as the group is still in it’s early learning stage of being teammates. Also I like that while we see Britney settling into the role of team leader it doesn’t come as naturally to her. This adds a nice element of reality to things as for me it’s a chance to watch her grow into the role.
The credits have a large cast of artists here and that always makes me nervous and wonder why? I will say this though the whole book flows nicely and the use of page layouts through angles, perspective and in some cases backgrounds is pretty strong. Though I would like to see more use of backgrounds instead of all that colour it really would help to do more to flesh out the scenes instead of relying upon just the characters, which could be seen as either laziness or inexperience.
This is well under way to becoming the series that I was hoping it would be. It has a nice mix of interesting characters and is introducing us to new threats not previously seen in the Zenescope Universe. This is going to be a great way to explore other corners and aspects of this world they live in.