Legendary Entertainment 2018
Written by Cavan Scott
Illustrated by Richard Elson
Back Up Illustrated by Beni Lobel
Coloured by Guy Major
Back Up Colours by Christopher Sotomayor
Lettered by John Roshell, Jimmy Betancourt & Sarah Jacobs of Comicraft
Santa Monica, 2034. In a city that was once the jewel of the west coast, a new world has emerged: one rising up from the ashes of giant robots and giant monsters. New Jaegers rise up from the wreckage of the scrapyards as local crime lords turn humanity's saviours into street enforcers. As factions vie for control of the underworld, new threats emerge. Jake continues to explore the drift and his father's life, opening old wounds and inflicting new ones as he faces the Pentecost legacy!
I like that this is not too far removed from the film so that the characters are pretty easily identified and yet far enough to see the ravages of time from the experience. One of the things this can do that the film franchise cannot is it can delve deeper in their persona’s and explore feelings and inadequacies that are found in this new world, supposedly free of the Kaiju.
Now we’ve seen the finding of the graveyard and the repurposing of the Jaegers for private profit by the Ukrainian woman. Not to mention that is how we open up this issue and by the gods its glorious. Human nature cannot stand to be left aside and if there is something out there that someone can use to their advantage they will beg, borrow or steal it. Greed is the ultimate motivator and let’s face it that’s just a cold hard fact. So to see it used here unapologetically is great and it’s nice to know that the more that changes the more things stay the same.
The way this book is structured is strong and well conceived. I like the flow of the story through it’s pages and how we get that chance to see just what is going on around here. I like that the action doesn’t seem gratuitous and plays a role in the story itself as much as the character development does. Joshua isn’t the only one here who needs some intense characterisation because there are now plenty of characters introduced and returning here. Among them is Chau and how his arc is going to tie into Joshua’s is one I look forward to seeing.
Richard is laying down so superb interior artwork here. The attention to detais spectacular and the varying weight of the linework that we see allows for everything from subtle and delicate to bold and in your face. Then there is the utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels all of which show off a talented eye for storytelling. There are some magnificent backgrounds in use here and I love seeing that, whether it’s a small space or open square what we see works beautifully to expand the story and make the city a part of the story. Guy has always been amazing but there are moments here he goes so far above and beyond even what I am used to seeing from him and Chau’s face for example stunning stuff.
Cavan is among my new favourite writers and I say that only because I discovered his work over at Titan and he’s just impressed me with not only his ability but the sheer talent he has to really portray the characters, use the backdrop as a part of the story and the fact he has the innate ability to get the reader to care about what is going on makes him a solid bet. He does that here as well by weaving the different arcs around the book and showing us that the action isn’t what the book needs to rely upon.
Twists and turns abound within these pages and they take us on a journey both familiar and fresh as a daisy. The Kaiju are really gone but how they come back well that’s something else entirely, will you be here to find out? I know I will.