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Breach #1

Posted: Tuesday, February 8, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Other Side"

Writer: Bob Harris
Pencils: Marcos Martin
Inks: Alvaro Lopez
Colors: Javier Rodriguez Studio
Letters: Clem Robins
Publisher: D.C. Comics
$2.95 U.S. / $4.50 CAN

Plot:
After getting a look into the future where we see a costumed figure is about to face what looks to be certain death, the book jumps back to the year 1983 where we see Major Tim Zanetti, the head of a government project, is on hand when an attempt to breach the dimension barrier goes horribly wrong, and the man is pulled into the surging energies that result. We than see this transformed man wakes up in the present day.

Comments:
If I had to a quick summation of this opening issue I'd have to use the same one that the comic shop guy used when he slipped a copy into this week's batch of books, as this is basically a reworked take on Captain Atom's origin. In fact the only major difference I can see is that instead of a government soldier who falls victim to an experiment that flings him into the future, and transforms him into a walking nuclear reactor, this issue offers up a government bureaucrat who falls victim to an experiment that flings him into the future, and transforms him into a walking nuclear reactor. Now the comic shop guy also called the book surprisingly good, and I have to say I'd agree with him on this point as well, as Bob Harris turns in a very solid done-in-one origin issue, and this is exactly what a title featuring an entirely new untested character needs, as the readers get all the important information one needs to identify with the character before the accident, so when he falls victim to the experiment, it's quite easy to become emotionally invested in his plight. The book also opens with a tantalizing look at what may very well be the character's final moments, and this adds a ticking clock element to the series as it's likely the tension will increase as we build toward this final moment. In the end I'm glad this title is at DC, as they've proven to be more willing to allow a book the time it needs to build an audience, and if the book maintains this level of quality it's audience base can one go up. I know I'll be back for the next chapter, and I'm currently working to trim down the number of titles I pick up.

I know I've seen Marcos Martin's work before, and while a quick search on Google would solve this mystery, it's not really all that important to my comments of his work on this issue. I will say that his work is along the lines of artists like Lee Weeks and Scott Kolins, in that it's highly detailed work that does a lovely job of capturing the sheer majesty of the book's big impact moments. I mean the establishing shot of the giant cyclotron would do Jack Kirby proud, and when the experiment goes south the art does an amazing job of capturing the sheer intensity of the situation as we see the man's body being ripped apart. There's also a nightmarish scene where we see the transformed man make contact with one of his rescuers, and we get a decidedly graphic look at what contact with his can do to the human body. I also enjoy the simple elegance of the character's costume, as it's a striking visual.



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