Written by Scot Meek
on Wednesday, October 02 2013 and posted in Reviews
The modern day warfare drama is escalating!
The Activity #15 is the latest issue in the ongoing series by Image Comics, written by Nathan Edmondson (Who Is Jake Ellis?), with art by Mitch Gerads (Doctor WHO).
This issue follows the team of Fiddler and Switchfoot on a mission in Siberia to recover data stored in a fallen satellite. In the freezing conditions and treacherous ice, tension between the two characters is brought to the surface. Meanwhile the team of Weatherman and Bookstore are in Afghanistan on a reconnaissance mission exploring issues of their own.
I have to admit that I knew nothing about this series until I read this issue. For those of you who haven't heard or read any of this series yet, it's essentially a modern-day warfare story revolving around an elite group of US Army spies called the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). The ISA engages in a variety of special operations throughout the globe. Their existence is not acknowledged by the US Army. The Activity follows their missions and the team members they are comprised of.
Edmondson uses this issue to provide us insight to the relationships between key characters. Switchfoot and Fiddler have an interesting back and forth dialog as to why Switchfoot is seemingly uncomfortable with having females in his team. Through them Edmondson showcases the difficulty of maintaining a relationship as a couple in the military. Switchfoot opens up about the vulnerable situation he would open himself up to if he had someone he romantically cared for working in the field with him. Despite a topic that could easily be bogged down with heavy dialog, Edmondson manages to keep fast and free flowing.
Gerads’ art is gritty and raw... exactly what you would want with a story like this. His art compliments the story well and allows Edmondson to keep the pace fast. For a section in the second half of this issue, there is no dialog for several pages, and I spent just as much time soaking in the art as I did the pages with dialog. Gerads’ pages played out like a slow motion montage in an action movie that it left me nodding my head slowly in approval.
Unfortunately there was no action in this issue! No fighting, gun fire, or death and destruction (other than a small satellite). While this was disappointing, it can be forgiven as it was obviously dedicated to character development. However, as a new reader I found the Weatherman and Bookstore dialog to be completely confusing.
This comic won’t be for everyone. It was definitely a departure from what I normally read, but it was nice to step into a story that was “real”. The team of Edmonson and Gerads have big plans for their next story with a new mission revealed at the end of this issue. If you’re for looking something different to check out this week then this is worth a look.
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