Story Ales Kot
Art by Michael Walsh
Art by Jordie Bellaire
Review by Joey Braccino
Talk about intense. Ales Kot brings the grit with the latest neo-noir, military-drama comic from Image. Are there a lot of those? If there isn’t, there should be, because the blend of Bourne, Blade Runner, and Black Hawk Down going on in Zero #1 is a thrill not to be missed.
Zero #1 introduces us to the enigmatic, super-efficient wetworks assassin, Edward Zero. On a mission for The Agency, Zero sneaks his way into a war-torn Palestine in pursuit of tech-infused human warriors. His mission: locate the tech and extract it—avoid casualties unless necessary. Of course, this wouldn’t be a military-suspense-thriller if there weren’t a few casualties. And let’s just say that the “extraction” of the tech from the soldiers sporting the upgrades isn’t exactly gentle. Zero employs subterfuge and sub-machineguns as he barrels his way through the city, raising the stakes after each panel and narrating with palpable cynicism and pain.
All the while, there are elements of intrigue and futuristic dystopia laced throughout (the setting is 2018, after all). Furthermore, the prologue sequence takes us twenty years further into the future, where Zero (presumably Zero…) sits on a cliff awaiting his own execution. Incredible storytelling.
Michael Walsh’s pulpy artwork is reminiscent of the old school aesthetics of David Aja, Chris Samnee, and Michael Lark. Perfect for that desert noir feel, Walsh’s dense lines and innovative paneling make for an engaging, thrilling ride. Jordie Bellaire—colorist extraordinaire—brings her diverse palette to the book, mixing the harsh desert browns and tans of the Gaza Strip battlefield with the shadowy blues and greys of the Agency headquarters. Zero #1 channels the visual innovation of Marvel’s Hawkeye series with the intensity and storytelling finesse expected of an Image book.
Check it out! Zero #1 tells an engaging, creative story that mixes and matches multiple genres and tropes with a distinct visual aesthetic. Ales Kot, Michael Walsh, and Jordie Bellaire are at the top of their game introducing Edward Zero and the dark corners in which he travels, so I’m excited to see how much further they can go with this new series!