I’m really not sure what to expect with this comic, having decided to walk into this one purely blind. No interviews, so solicit reading, and not even looking up the basic premise. All I know is who the writer is and that’s it. I’m jumping head first in and without a parachute, so let’s do this! Is it good?
Zero #1 (Image Comics)
Zero is a secret agent spy for a group called The Agency (it was called that because the people who run the place are just too damn lazy to come up with something less generic) and he’s sent in to the Gaza Strip to recover a piece of biotech weaponry that was stolen. However, to get it back, he’s going to have steal of bio-modified terrorist, who is currently using it. Shenanigans ensue.
Also blood. LOTS of blood ensues.
This issue felt kind of average in a way. There’s certainly nothing wrong with it by any means, but there is nothing here that jumps out at me. The story is basically just Zero trying to get an item back and pretty much nothing else. It’s more about setting up what kind of character our protagonist is, but he himself isn’t all that compelling. He’s just a spy who’s good at getting the job done, but also has a bit of a conscience. Without anything special about him outside of that, he’s pretty much a character we’ve all seen before.
The rest of the stuff is kind of average as well. The side characters, all of two of them, are pretty much just there and don’t leave an impression. The dialogue and narration is pretty typical with the character outlining how he has to get his job done, but with no emotion to give it any zest. The ending is rather abrupt, with how it just stops, like we are almost missing a page. It has good pacing and flow, with the story never really feeling padded out, but that certainly isn’t enough to make the book stand out.
A good chunk of the book reads like this.
The thing that really stood out the most in the comic, outside of the really graphic violence, was the sex scene in the middle of it. I just don’t get why it was there. It was so oddly placed, contributed nothing to the story, and pretty much interrupted the flow of the story. It was like a hitting a speed bump, bringing the whole thing to a complete stop.
The artwork is oddly familiar in a way. With the line work, coloring, and inking, it comes across as a hybrid of Darwyn Cooke, David Aja, and Michael Lark’s styles. That’s certainly not bad, since they are pretty great artists, but the artwork does give me this familiar feeling like I’m looking at their work.
I’m pretty sure I saw a very similar panel layout like this in Hawkeye.
- The writing is competent.
- The artwork, while familiar, is good.
- The characters aren’t really memorable.
- The dialogue and narration is kind of dull.
- The sex scene was oddly placed and pointless.
Despite that, it’s still pretty good overall. Decent enough facial expressions and character models, the violence is graphic and brutal, some panels are colored very well to make them standout, and there is a good sense of motion and movement to it. If you liked any of those artists I listed, you’ll like this one’s work.
Is It Good?
It is, it just isn’t amazing. There’s potential and nothing particularly bad about it, but it’ll need to improve quite a bit quickly and stand out more to keep the audience invested. I’ll keep my eye on it over the coming months.