Review: Activity #14

I went into this issue not really knowing how the creative team was going to top themselves, but knowing that they somehow would and did. This is a huge issue and some of the things that go down were actually a bit shocking. Gerads’ art is so realistic that the characters look real and some of their actions in this issue are surprising and puts them in a new light. The visuals are so strong that you can actually forget that it’s a fictional character you’re looking at. Bookstore is in Amsterdam looking for intel on Zeus and is connections including who he was working for. She’s coming up empty, but keeps looking per orders. After getting all she can she’s tasered from behind. Meanwhile the rest of Team Omaha is on a mission in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re at a meeting point as a Seaplane lands. They draw guns on them and the plane attempts to take off until another member of the team knocks on their front glass. From there they take the two pilots up into their helicopter leaving their boat and Seaplane behind.

Back in Amsterdam, Bookstore wakes up tied to a chair. She banters with someone she can’t see, but he has a ton of info on her. He knows her real name, her code name and who she worked for and who she currently works for without even asking her a single question. He tells her that the Jihadist that she’s looking for is under his “care” and that she’s too late. The man only gives her his code name “The Spider” and informs her that her operation has stumbled upon his operation twice and that Zeus was working for him. Zeus was actually one of his operatives, which is actually a pretty big deal. (Go back several issues to see why!) The Spider cuts Zoe loose on the condition that she helps him break the Jihadist and get the information that they need from him.

This entire series is a like a puzzle and this issue is a pretty big piece and I don’t mean because of the little blurb I revealed in the paragraph before. Nope it’s the information that’s revealed from the interrogation and the things done on both sides of the team to get their information. The story continues to be gritty and dark, but very realistic.

activity14_coverBookstore and Spider’s scene kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t particularly like the way that Spider opened up instantly nor did I like the pictures he took to entice the Jihadist to talk. It seemed to me that if those pictures got out, Bookstore’s life would be put into grave danger. We’ll see and really it was just a “me” thing since it didn’t harm the story, but stood out to me. I really enjoyed the scenes with the other half of Team Omaha and even though I figured out their trick quickly, it was very entertaining. Lastly I really wanted to punch Daniel’s in the face and realistically I think he would have been transferred instantly due to his blunder. I think I’m supposed to feel sympathy for the guy, but I kind of hate him. Overall I’d say that’s good writing if I feel anything towards a character.

Gerads’ art is fantastic with this issue. The Spider has a great design and came across as a total bad-ass. His codename of “The Spider” is also very fitting and cool as well. His facial expressions are masterful and drive so much of the story. The subtle smiles to the way the Spider lights his cigarette by pushing out his lips ever so slightly. The coloring of course is spot on and maintains the gritty and realistic nature of the art. It plays a huge part in the tone and it’s very successful in its execution. I particularly liked the effects of the story the storm that Omaha is flying through.

This is a great issue overall and if you’ve been reading the series then there’s a big payoff for reading this issue. I don’t know how the team manages to mix things up from issue to issue, but it’s made for a successful and entertaining comic to read. It’s definitely the best military based comic book I’ve ever read and I would definitely say it’s the most realistic as well.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Nathan Edmondson

Artist: Mitch Gerads

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: $3.50

Release Date: 8/7/13