Writer: Jody LeHeup
Artist: Nathan Fox
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Steve Wands
This issue definitely turns the sadistic ultra violence up to 11 and turns down the comedic funny bits. We are introduced to a new villain, Mr. Azim who uses VR technology to lull his victims into a false sense of security before pulling them out to have them brutally murdered in real life. Nathan and Cross are still on the run from Kade and his crew, however when a planet wide kill order is issued, they find themselves on the run from every person on the planet. We get a very messy car chase sequence with Nate knocking out Cross at the end of the issue with the intent to go on his own.
With the last issue, I wasn’t sure if Nate was actually Ian Black, but considering how skillfully he maneuvered as wheel-man during the car chase and he gets the drop on Cross, stealing her gun and knocking her out, I’m more sure now that’s the direction the team is going. This issue definitely showed that Nate is more than just some happy-go-lucky slacker, he has depth and true concerns for what will happen to him and what is happening to the people on Mars.
I still cannot shake the cookie cutter feeling of this story as if I have read it somewhere before. The next steps are to find an assistant of the woman who erased Nate’s memories as Ian because, surprise, when Cross’s team found her lab, the scientist and the drives she kept memories on were gone. There is also a cut to the President where I assume some kind of political subterfuge is going on as well. The more and more I read, the more I see the flashes of Total Recall and Bourne Identity.
While I am continuing to enjoy Fox’s art and Stewart’s colors, the car chase scene was a real problem for me. Fox’s loose style usually does a good job of belaying the violent and cruelty of this world, but the car chase sequence is a big mess. Fox’s lines get messier with the intention to show the utter chaos that is surrounding our characters. However with the dialog, the sound effects and the scene itself all jammed together, it becomes very messy and at times without the word bubbles I wouldn’t have even noticed the car. He draws Nate and Cross very loose to the point where you can tell it looks rushed. Curiously, it is in these scenes where I noticed the colors did not pop as much either. I don’t know if this was a printing issue or what, but once you get to the last four pages, the coloring looks noticeably brighter and like the rest of the book prior to the car chase.
I’m still along for the ride on this one, I’m hoping next issue we get to see Nate go off on his own and really put some of these skills he isn’t supposed to have to work.
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
If you liked this review, and would like to support us so that we can keep doing what we do, please consider supporting us on Patreon.