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Shrapnel: Aristeia Rising #3

Posted: Saturday, March 7, 2009
By: Karyn Pinter

M. Zachary Sherman
Bagus Hutomo with Leos ďOkitaĒ Ng (colors) and Sean Konot (letters)
Radical Publishing
Okay, so why is it that every time a strong female character (especially in the military) gets a little unsure of herself, she shaves her head? I blame Demi Moore. Not that I have anything against G.I. Jane, but dude, itís been done. For once Iíd like to see my battle and emotionally scared heroine with a full head of hair. Sam is nothing if not scared on the inside and out, but still, I expected a little more integrity, both from Sam and the creative team.

Boy, this issue had a lot to say. I donít think Iíve ever read that much in a comic before. I think I need a nap after that marathon. Out of all of those words Iíve selected a quote for you all: ďI think youíve missed the point of the tale, Private. Itís a symbol of perseverance and faith.Ē

That quote sums up Shrapnel totally. If youíre just stepping into this story youíre going to be lost, and will only see this as some sci-fi war comic. You really need to read it from issue one so you understand whatís at stake for these people. Itís freedom. Plain and simple freedom to live life the way they would like to live it whether it be working, fighting, or running from the past.

So whatís happening in issue three? Sam is given command of a team to gain back a space elevator, which I hope is as cool as it sounds. A giant elevator to space? Yes, please. Sam tells her little group about why marines still carry swords into battle. The group is about to take on a suicide mission that, if successful, would be a strategic coup d'ťtat against the Alliance.

Besides shaving her head in this issue, Sam also has a run-in with a former commanding officer from the marines, and Randal confesses his love for Sam. All is being set up for the climactic ending coming in the next two issues. This issue also has the return of Ria, Samís dead little sister whoís a psychoanalytical hologram. I missed her in the last issue. Strangely, Ria brings out Samís softer side. Ria almost seems more human than the humans, and sheís needed to draw Sam out of the steel shell in which sheís locked herself.

Although I do love this comic, I felt that this issue slipped a little. This issue is kind of like the middle child, third out of five, a place holder. Sure it had a ton of story crammed into 22 pages, but still not a lot happened. There wasnít a big action scene, which I know canít always be in every issue, but what was really missing was the big action scene art. Iím a sucker for this painted war look that Shrapnel is rocking. I love it. Iíd eat it up with a spoon if I wasnít afraid of destroying my precious comic.

Shrapnel is good. Maybe issue three wasnít the best one yet, but it was still pretty good. I heard there was going to be other volumes, which was a cool surprise, so thereís something to look forward to if you enjoy this series so far. There are two issues left in the saga of Sam. Who knows if sheíll make it back from her mission for the next volumes. I hope so. Not that this issue was bad, but letís hope issues four and five wrap up Shrapnel with a big bow of awesome.



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