I’ve been dreading this issue ever since talking about it on the CBMFP (listen here). Sadly the very thing I was concerned about is the focus of the entire issue… like the entire issue. Also with this issue it becomes clear that each issue is going to end on a startling reveal/cliffhanger. Which I totally called the cliffhanger for this issue since they hammered it home early on. Our main character Sander, who’s name doesn’t matter because he’ll likely never be called that again, infiltrates the guard as planned. He says goodbye to his wife and they’re going to tell his kid that he died… brilliant plan. Why the fuck would anyone go along with this plan?
“I’m likely to be found out because I have no fucking clue what I’m doing and if I’m not it could be years undercover, meanwhile my family will think and for all intents and purposes act as if I’m dead for the vague hope of changing the system and making it better for everyone else, meanwhile losing everything I had…”
There you go. That’s the logic and likely outcome of this story. We’re supposed to believe that Sander is the chosen one hero because he could fit into the suit without it being baggy. I lost interest in this story the minute he put his helmet on.
After infiltrating the guard Sanders fucks up a few times and then during check in he pulls a man’s grenade pin and pretends that he saw him doing in. It ends up killing the guy and one other, but it gets him through the check in. That’s right, this dude that’s never killed before just sacrificed two lives for his own at the drop of a hat… and we’re supposed to like him right?
After that he’s instantly interrogated because they suspect him after he was “missing” for too long during the kerfuffle. It’s also pretty clear that either his brother-in-law or someone else has tried this shit before and the doctor that checks Sanders out is aware of it and helps to a degree.
The art is consistent and still the best part of the book. The action is comprehensive, but could be given more breathing room. It’s more of a start and finish rather than anything in-between, but we’re given ample panels of talking heads. The coloring also remains solid and keeps the tone of the world which would otherwise be a little lost this issue.
For me I’m out after this issue. It’s not terrible, but it’s predictable and I personally have no interest in reading a story that’s entire plotline is based on luck and coincidence because that’s the very definition of convenient storytelling. Sander should have been discovered in the first five minutes of his mission and if the story wanted to be impressive it would have found a better way to overthrow the antagonist. As it stands it’s creating a series of difficult situations just to thrill the reader with the question of “will he be discovered?” and the answer is of course going to be “No” because otherwise the story would be over. Again, definition of convenient writing.