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‘The Resistance #1-#4’ (review)

Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Mike Deodato Jr.
Colored by Frank Martin Jr.
Published by AWA Studios

 

I have just read the first four issues of Resistance by J. Michael Straczynski, Mike Deodato, Jr., and Frank Martin, Jr. My problem is that with only six issues scheduled, these four still read like one long introduction. I really don’t have any issues with the title, otherwise. The problem, of course, is that THEY barely have any issues either—left that is.

What’s here, though, is choice, if a little too close to home to be considered purely escapist entertainment

You see there’s this pandemic. There’s no vaccine and thousands of folks are dying on a daily basis as it spreads unchecked throughout the countries of the world. In our real world, we are told by one particularly ignorant person that one day it will just stop. In the comic book world, that’s exactly what happens.

The virus doesn’t disappear but it suddenly falls dormant worldwide, leaving an astronomical trail of death behind it but leaving some survivors with little gifts that amount to them now having super powers.

But where did the virus come from? China? Mexico? Outer Space?

How and why did it just stop killing people? Is someone controlling it? Is the government behind what’s going on, culling the weak and preparing the survivors for…what?

All of these questions and more pop up in these first four issues but few are answered. It appears the series is tied in to one or more OTHER series as well so perhaps one needs to read them all for full effect.

This series by itself is quite good though, with former Babylon 5 TV showrunner and longtime comics author J. Michael Straczynski at the helm, a man who has long since earned the reader’s trust and who has often demonstrated a deft capacity for dealing with complex storylines in multiple mediums.

The mixed media artwork comes from Mike Deodato, Jr, and Frank Martin, Jr., a pair I praised highly in another recent review.

Here there seems to be more photo-reference involved, and the whole project ends up looking a bit like Astro City. I think Astro City was/is brilliant, so that’s meant as a compliment. There’s also a bit of a Paul Gulacy feel to some of the artwork.

The complexities of the plot require a lot of talking heads and all of the creators manage to keep us interested via the usage of clever layouts and occasional bits of welcome humor in what could have been a world even more bleak than our own.

All in all, Resistance sets up its dark premises extremely well in these four entertaining and well-made issues.

The question’s gonna be, “What next?” As I wrote above, Straczynski has earned the reader’s trust with his past work so I’m anxious to see where he goes with all of it.

Booksteve recommends.

 

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