Skybound/Image Comics 2019
Written by Brandon Thomas
Illustrated by Francis Portela
Coloured by Leonardo Paciarotti
Lettered by Thomas Mauer
Agent Drake is hot on the trail of the men responsible for assassinating the President. Too bad the body he just hijacked has been poisoned and he’s surrounded by a team of rogue Hardcore operators…
I am such a fan of this series. Science Fiction Action Thrillers don't get the credit they deserve. Sure most folks like the space opera or the horror or those combined but this is done in such a way that it makes the impossible seem possible and that in and of itself is scary as hell to me. Black Ops groups that are so far off the books that the President doesn't know they exist are the stuff of legend. Rival groups trying to put the other down and be the only ones doing it, or sabotage and stealing secrets those are things we readily accept. Transferring in and out of people by taking over their minds that's a bigger stretch of the imagination but ya know what these folks right here make it look feasible. That is the kind of power storytelling has.
Now this call me Layla person is scarier than the Joker, okay at least looking and if I spoke what was on my mind I would offend way too many people. Which is a shame cause I really wanna be shady right about now and I am all kinds of upset that whom we met wasn't even really her. I will say this much when folks such as Layla and her people have the kind of power at their disposal that we see it makes them arrogant, cocky and sloppy. Hopefully sloppy will come sooner rather than later but you understand what I am talking about. It is why those with few to no moral centre usually end up defeated, dead or their brains fried to a crisp making them a vegetable and I have lined whom I wish to receive what lol.
I think the way that this is being told is exceptionally brilliant. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is being laid out beautifully. Finally getting to see this organisation instead of their actions makes this more exciting and that Brandon doesn't feel the need to drag it out is great. The character development we see is phenomenal and I mentioned earlier how we view these new characters and that's really due to how well they are being fleshed out. The pacing we see is superb and and as it takes through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way it helps create this electrifying ebb & flow to the book.
Francis is one of the most amazing storytellers around. His ability, talent and skill in being able to bring this to life is mindbogglingly good. Sometimes we forget what truly makes an artist stand out and here we see that early and often, those monitors with the visuals from the drones is crazy in it's detail and reader recognition. How we see backgrounds being utilised and how they work within the composition in the panels to bring us depth perception, scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the book is fabulous. Again seeing the escalator brings about an optical illusion to the eye and this kind of control over the linework is scary in how masterful it is. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show his masters eye for storytelling. Paired with Leonardo was a stroke of luck and genius because the man understands how colour works and how to utilised the various hues and tones within them to create the shading, highlights and shadows perfectly. Two master of their craft in visual storytelling, if you question that in any way look at the camouflage.
Forget Cruise and his Mission Impossible films we need to see these on the big screen, I've already cast it in my head too. This is a beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated book that not only engages the reader by what we see and what we don't see but it captures the imagination and enthrals the reader.