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Breach #2

Posted: Friday, February 18, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Herdsman"

Writer: Bob Harras
Artists: Marcos Martin (p), Alvaro Lopez (i), J. Rodriguez Studio (colors)

Publisher: DC Comics


Plot: As the radically changed Major Zanetti wakes up in the present day, halfway around the world a young man is pulled into an energy vortex that transforms him into a bizarre looking entity, which is drawn to the government facility where the Major is being held. What's more, the entity's dialogue indicates that it knows what the Major has transformed into, but we also get the sense that its interest in the Major isn't entirely altruistic, as it kills several people on its way to the facility.

Comments: I have to say part of me is a bit annoyed that this series is proving to be such an engaging read, as I'm currently trying to trim the number of titles I pick up. Based on the strength of the first two issues, I'm going to be with this title for however long it lasts. I mean Bob Harris is turning in a fast paced adventure that manages to act as a powerful reminder of the idea that a comic doesn't need six issues to deliver the story of how the hero received his powers, and yet even with the accelerated pace, character development isn't being sacrificed. What's more we're two issues into this new series, and not only have we gotten the story of how the character got his powers, but we've also received the first battle with what looks like the primary villain. The issue also continues to develop the idea that the Major's powers are not exactly a blessing, as we have a character who kills everyone he makes physical contact with, and every person who interacts with him is forced to wear environmental suits to protect them from the deadly radiation that he continually emits. There's also the idea that he's been displaced in time, as almost two decades have past. While this isn't enough to make him a complete fish out of water, it is enough to create the sense that the world has passed him by, and that the people he cared for have moved on with their lives. Add to this the chilling quality of the Herdsman, and the ongoing mystery of what exactly has our hero turned into, and you have one of the most promising new titles to come out of DC in years.

Marcos Martin is turning in some amazing looking work on this title, and if this series does nothing else I hope it opens the eyes of the higher ups at DC about how solid an artist they've got working for them. I mean his work strikes me as a more polished version of Scott Kolins's art, both in the level of detail on the page, and its great eye when it comes to laying out the action on the page in a visually exciting manner. From the opening sequence where the young child gets pulled into the energy vortex to the eruption of action later in the issue as the Herdsman confronts the Major and we see the sheer level of power that they're capable of, the art generates a genuine sense of excitement. I mean how can one not love the low angle shot of the path that the two took as they escaped the lab complex or the chilling nature of the image where the Herdsman's body transforms into a pile of ash?



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