BOOM! Studios 2021
Written by Keanu Reeves & Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Ron Garney
Coloured by Bill Crabtree
Lettered by Clem Robins
What revelations will B. unlock when his handler's life hangs in the balance?
During a mission to retrieve an artefact from a museum in the midst of an ongoing civil war, B. saves his handler, Jim, from a chopper explosion. As he races to get his gravely injured friend to the extraction point, B. reveals new secrets from his past, but little does he know that Caldwell and Diana are secretly recording everything.
Each issue of this gets that much better than the previous one and this is precisely what a series is supposed to be like. The more intense and more complicated his life becomes with his past and present at play and his desire to finally live out his life like a normal person hanging in the balance is the only motivation he has at the moment and until this happens he’s on a mission with his handler, Jim and things get extremely interesting. I have to say that his shrink and the organisation that he is currently working for have never been trustworthy in my eyes and this issue we see once and for all if they are or aren’t. Of course you’ll have to read the issue to find out but suffice it to say that this issue is going to change everything moving forward.
I positively adore the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job with their ever changing and evolving personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story the more depth and complexity is revealed.
I am thrilled by the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that we see the layers open up new avenues to be explored. The ending opens a few and the conversation with B and Jim opens a few as does the mission itself that starts off the issue and they all add some great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
The interiors here are exceedingly well rendered. The opening page is exquisite and the rest of the work is stunning as well. The linework is fantastic and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail within the work we see throughout is exceptionally well rendered. I mean that tank and how we see this is mind blowing. How we see backgrounds being utilised to enhance and expand the moments as well as how it works within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is marvellous. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a stellar eye for how colour works.
The concept and execution of the story is first class work. On the surface it could be cliché but with the depth of the storytelling that we see this really stands out as something incredible. The writing is extraordinary while the characterisation is phenomenal and the interiors are strong and stunning work. All together this really has taken me by surprise and it continues to thrill and excite me with each new issue.