The Activity is one of those books that give you gooses bumps while reading. The intensity keeps you on the edge of your seat until you realize you’re reading a comic and need to place your back against the chair again. It’s the spy movie that Hollywood has dreamed of, but in comic book format. Personally I have to compare The Activity to the first Mission Impossible film. The intrigue of the mystery and the level of wits against wits in that movie are still enjoyable to this day. Every scene and every feat was intense and the only thing to give me that same feeling since has been The Activity. We were introduced to our newest member of Omaha, Fiddler in the first issue and now we see her hazed by Sigint team as they fill her locker with cleaning supplies. Fiddler doesn’t have much time to think about it as they’re pulled for another mission. The mission is to find out if a captured spy is one Master Sergeant Drivas. Drivas has been MIA for four months undercover in Amsterdam and the team needs to find him. With some intel from the Sigint team they discover his location in the basement of a terrorist bar. Weatherman and Fiddler stumble in pretending to be drunk, once inside Switchfoot creeps in and tranqs everyone in sight. They continue on their non-lethal mission hoping for no mishaps, but who knows what else is waiting for the team.
There’s a lot going on in this book and it would be really unfair of me to ruin a spy book for you. Edmondson has delivered a book that the comic industry needed. This is the type of book that shows you don’t need a superhero on the cover or any other pitfalls that people think of when they say the word “comic.” This is what I think of, this book. A story that is original with solid characters and a storytelling style that fits the genre 100%. The Activity will be for Edmondson what Animal Man is for Grant Morrison, mark my words this series is going to be great.
Of course what is a great story without a great artist? Mitch Gerads owns this issue. The character movements are fluid from page to page giving them a sense of movement and life. At any one time a page can have upwards of five different facial expressions and that adds to much of the personality of the book. Gerads nails the mixture of action driven scenes while also exceeding at the “planning” scenes as well, striking the needed balance between the two.
This is a great week for comics and this book is definitely a highlight within that week. It has story, action and intensity while staying true to the spy genre. In my last review I implied that this book reinvents the genre, but now I would have to say that it doesn’t. It just does it right for the first time since coming to comics. Make a note everyone, if you want to make a spy comic… this series is your bible.
Writer: Nathan Edmondson Artist: Mitch Gerads Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 1/11/12