Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Shadows of the Fallen: Thrasher #1 Review

Comics are expensive, there's no denying it. It may well be the reason why the industry has had to pull such drastic moves in order to gain customers over the last couple of years - in these tough economical times most people don't have time for comics and the people who do can't afford them.

That's where web comics come in.

Tough times are headed in this new web-comic...
I haven't been a huge follower of web comics over the years, with the only one I've read being the great, but very brief chapters of The Escapist. But after being requested to read this new series from new, independent developer Meddling Media, I thought why not. You can't beat free comics after all.

Shadows of the Fallen: Thrasher #1 is the first comic from Meddling Media and the first part in what seems like a huge story that looks to be taking place in many different MM series'. Now I'll be honest, at first I didn't really know what to make of Thrasher #1. After my first read-through I still wasn't sure I had a good idea of who the key players were or what was happening. Then however, I read through a second time, and began to realise just how much potential this story has.

The story revolves around Tony Piccirillo who wrote a book that became hugely successful, but at the same time got him involved in some dangerous conspiracies. After he prevented his research into alien biotech being stolen by a shady government group he got on the radar of the CIA and began carrying out missions for them.

Now I won't go into any more detail on the plot - partly because that would go into spoiler territory, and partly because I'm still not sure how much I understand it myself. Don't get me wrong, after multiple re-reads I do have an idea of what's going on now, but there are still some blank spots for me. Some of the characters are mentioned but given no background, some presumably huge moments in the story are brushed over in a panel. This doesn't in anyway make the book bad, it just meant that for me, it took a while to get my head round it. 

Part of this is undoubtedly because this comic is a continuation of not one, but two novels from the founder of MM. The comic does try to recap the events of those books, but there's still no denying that you may understand these events more had you have read those. 

Overall though I feel I'm being too negative about this story. I did mean what I said above - there's a lot of potential here. With many heroes soon to be let out of the gates at MM, along with a seemingly apocalyptic threat on the horizon, I am genuinely looking forward to the next instalment in this series. I would prefer a little more clarity in some plot points, but right now that isn't enough to stop the story from bursting with potential greatness. 
Plus, you have to give the writer some credit for coming up with some original characters, and an original story in a world dominated by the same old superheroes.

Considering that many web-comics often have very low budgets, I think Thrasher's art does admirably. There are many really nice looking scenes, and textures and Thrasher does look pretty cool. However, there are some art issues in some places with a couple of panels showing limbs that look a little misplaced. That aside though, I do think the art does a good job at trying to recreate the blockbuster look often seen in modern Marvel and DC comics.


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