Much like after the first story arc of The Activity, the main plot line takes a pause to show one of the main characters before they joined up with Omaha. The thing about this issue is that it gives series artist and co-creator Mitch Gerads a chance to catch up on the series while a fill in artist takes the reigns for a month. Marc Laming returns to the series having also served as a fill in on issue six, and damnit if his style isn’t similar to Gerads. I actually read the entire issue and didn’t realize the art had changed until looking at the credits.
This issue follows Switchfoot in his days in Iraq with Delta Company. They’re the badasses that run black ops and have beards to blend in. They’re mission is to secretly extract a target while maintaining their cover. The first step involves them “running” into some enemy soldiers in a truck, after exchanging words they open fire on the men and steal they’re vehicle. They banter back and forth on their way into town before suiting up again and making their way towards the target. Now they’ll have to get through enemy and friendly alike in order to successfully accomplish their mission.
This story is probably very close to home for some people. I remember reading an article that I believe that Edmondson had tweeted about the military responding to The Activity and they basically confirmed, by not denying that operations that occurring in the book are very realistic. This issue in particular reminds me a lot of Medal of Honor’s reboot from a few years back (not Warfighter) that was actually based around a real soldiers experiences and it was damn close to this. It definitely caught my attention.
Edmondson continues to be impressive on this series and while I don’t know how he gets all of his information, I’m glad that he does. This book puts to shame all of the “realistic” based video games like the aforementioned series and its rival and dominate counterpart Call of Duty. You can’t touch this story it’s so damn good and if those companies had half a brain they’d talk to Edmondson about writing one of their games.
Laming is no stranger to the series obviously, but he does an incredible job on this issue. I don’t know if this is his natural style or if he’s imitating Gerads style so that the series has a consistent look, but either way he does an incredible job on the art. While there is a lot of action, it’s the down time scenes that make the issue and Laming does a fine job making those moments count.
I’ve said this damn near every review, but you really should check this series out. I know how many copies of CoD sells and I think if those same people gave this issue a chance then they’d become monthly readers in a heartbeat. And if FPS’ aren’t your thing you still can’t play the, “I don’t like war” card, because the story and art are well beyond being a simple war story. It’s an incredible series and I’m looking forward to seeing it continue.
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Marc Laming (Mitch Gerads on page 22)
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 5/1/13