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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Gears of War
Volume 1 (Hardback)


Author: Joshua Ortega
Artist: Liam Sharp
Titan Books
RRP: £14.99, US $19.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 482 4
Available 27 November 2009

Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad survived the Lightmass Bombing, but not without suffering casualties. Now they're on a new mission: searching for badlands near Jacinto for a few missing squads. Unfortunately, that's not all they find, and the action heats up immediately...

Gears of War helps to bridge the gap between the first two Gears of War video games... and introduces new Delta Squad member Jace Stratton.

In the far future, the planet of Sera is a utopian society - until the Locust, an insectoid race of aliens bent on destroying the humans above - rise up from tunnels deep within the planet's core, and only the humans able to fight back are known as the 'Gears'. This graphic novel follows Gears Marcus Fenix, Dom Santiago, Augustus Cole, Damon Baird and newly-minted, first-tour warrior 'Jace' as they fight wretches, boomers, corpsers, brumaks and worse in a running battle to return to the safety of the Jacinto plateau, in the aftermath of the deployment of the Lightmass Bomb.

While it's not essential that you're familiar with the console games, it does help to get the most from this collection.

The writing and art work looks and feels like a 2000 AD story - which is no bad thing. The art work, especially, looks like artist Liam Sharp learned his craft from a very early age copying the work of Carlos Ezquerra and Steve Dillon, and now as an adult has found his own style - even if it is very close to those boyhood heroes he grew up on. Of course, that's all speculation on my part, but you can't escape the fact that the art is very familiar.

The story too is well crafted, but feels very much like a Judge Dredd or Strontium Dog tale - even though writer Joshua Ortega is an American writer.

If you're a fan of British comics, or the Gears of War games, then this is certainly worth purchasing.


Nick Smithson

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