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Comic books have been a secret love for me since my teenage years, but they became a very expensive hobby, and given that combined with the stories just not being as good anymore, it faded as time went on. Radical Entertainment’s THE RISING is the first comic I’ve read in maybe six years, and it looks like the problem with the medium is the same as I remember—great artwork but lousy writing. At least the introductory issue for the upcoming miniseries only costs $1!
THE RISING, from what can gleaned from the few words that are actually on the pages, seems to be about an alien invasion of creatures called the Dracs, from the planet Draconia (seriously?), who have arrived on Earth and just made a treaty with the human race to promote peace, unity and living as one. Of course, not all believe the Dracs have good intentions; some think they’re pure evil and out to destroy us as a race. What are they? Are their intentions for their own advancement? Are they just evil bastards?
E. Max Frye’s credit as writer almost feels unwarranted here, since there’s a distinct lack of words or narrative content throughout the entire first issue. True dialogue don’t really begin until page 16, which hurts it tremendously, and there’s nothing to push forward the universe, characters and ideas the creators, one presumes, want to instill in this series. The artwork and detail are commendable, but the lack of dialogue and story hinder the atmosphere that they’re trying to create. The first 15 pages deal with what seems to be a band of soldiers being attacked by the Dracs, with one surviving and being rescued by a native in the jungle, only for the Dracs attack them. At least, I assume it’s the Dracs, since they’re not identified at all. The following pages are decently written and do a satisfactory job of keeping one just interested and intrigued enough to read on in subsequent issues.
While THE RISING #1 more or less establishes an overall tone, the lack of story and character content in the first half and only average writing in second don’t bode well for this title’s longterm possibilities. Although I’ll admit I am curious about what’s going to happen next, I warn the creators: If the next issue starts with another 15 pages of empty air, I’m dropping comic books again and going back to collecting coins.
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