By Dustin Cabeal
Listen if we all make it to the dystopian future I’m going to give you a piece of advance, use in-house couriers. There’s a lot of reasons to do this, but the biggest is that it’s cheaper in the long run. It makes someone in your crew feel like a vital part of the team, and you don’t have to give out money to strangers. The second reason is that anytime there’s a courier, be it dystopian or otherwise, they eventually pick a side in a confrontation, and that could bite you in the ass.
That’s not to say that any of this happens in the first issue of The Courier, but it would shock me to my core if it didn’t happen later. The first issue sets up a conflict between two gangs, one that looks like members of the Bullet Club started a Sons of Anarchy biker gang. The other, apparently Native American inspired. There’s some kind of deal that’s supposed to go down, and it goes south when one of the bikers decides that he doesn’t want to play nice and would rather take shit for free. You know, chaos and stupidity. Our main character Eve then accepts a job to bring some medicine to the injured biker leader, who she has a past with, which was not surprising. There’s also mutated humans running around naked eating on people and shit, that’s probably an important part of the story.
There’s nothing new here. Instead of Zombie’s, it’s a virus that’s mutated people into killing machines. Society is held together by fragments and gangs rule everything. There’s tech that rules the school somehow, but that’s of course not explained or even a part of the story. The conflict is pretty generic as well. One brother has a woman talking into his ear telling him to start a fucking war and that he’s the man, blah, blah, blah. Sure, it’s a believable storyline, but it’s only interesting if it’s handled in a new and refreshing way, which it’s not. It’s not even kept a secret which makes it even more worthless to the story.
The dialogue is fine, it flows nicely and is believable. The story though it just too generic and safe. It’s not trying to push the envelope or do something new. It’s just retreading everything similar that came before this and not even trying to add its own spin. I’ll bet anyone a dollar that either the other fucking Courier that turned down the job shows up to save her in the next issue or it’ll be some other magical character from her past that saves her. It’s just, the same old stuff.
The art is the best part of the comic. I can barely remember the days in which Zenescope had great covers and terrible, just really terrible interior artwork. Thankfully, they turned that around because they seem to want people to read and care about the stories inside and not just by good looking covers at four bucks a pop. It’s just that now the stories need to improve with the art. The art here is doing all the heavy lifting and if it weren't for how good it was this book would be scoring a lot lower.
This isn’t a terrible idea or even a bad setting, but it also nothing new. It’s a very safe comic. If you like dystopian courier stories, then you’re going to like this, but if you’ve had your fill of them, then you’re going to be left wanting more. Zenescope’s close to breaking away from their previous image, but they need the writing to improve and soon.
The Courier: From The Ashes #1
Writer: Ralph Tedesco
Artist: J.G. Miranda
Colorist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: Kurt Hathaway
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment