With the concept of Zero, a series where each issue is pretty much a stand-alone and with a new artist every issue, you would not expect it to keep a level of quality like this. But Kot and [random] co. manages to do so. Every issue remains fresh and new, and issue #8 is absolutely no exception.
This month's artist is Jorge Coelho who I have not had any experience with until this issue and I really hope he gets more work in the future. Coelho has a wonderful dynamic nature to his art where you get to see every piece of action; close-ups here, gunshot here, debris there etc. It makes a very dynamic experience and really maximizes the story Kot has laid out for us.
Considering that this issue is a massive shootout, Kot and Coelho are very generous with their panels and the result is an exhilarating and entertaining comic. Oddly enough, sound effects are kept out of this issue but with the panels and the movement that is achieved in them, I can actually hear the action. It's bizarre. Maybe I'm high. All I know is, this issue made me start playing sound effects in my head and really just upped the experience. There is a page with this progression of a bullet's path (once you read the issue you'll know what I'm talking about) and it is just so brutal and wonderfully creative that I almost stood up and started clapping.
Zero #8 is kind of an odd issue in the context of the series. Up to this point, the connectivity of each issue has been pretty limited. What makes this particular issue special is that it's essentially the second part to issue #7. I'm not saying that's a bad thing; not at all. But it seems to be something atypical of the series and may prove to be foreshadowing the direction of the series. With that said however, every issue does indeed have an ending but doesn't have a cliffhanger that equates to the mainstream “Sword through Chest” final page.
I read comics from all publishers. One of the things that kind of pisses me off is the constantly changing of artists for certain arcs. Inconsistency is typically very jarring and just an annoyance. But what is so fantastic about Zero is that every issue does feel fresh, new and even with a different artist, it still feels familiar. And that's where Zero shines; it always feels fresh while at the same time feels like you're returning to your favorite escapist world.
Espionage type of tales are hard to do. Sometimes writers will try to mix it up and change a single thing but typically it boils down to a rehashed version of James Bond. Kot manages to stay out of those tropes and what we have here is a consistently fresh, thought-provoking, emotional, action-packed series that continues to deliver. If you are not reading this series, start reading it now. You owe yourself that much.
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About the Author - Bryant Thomas
Bryant Thomas is far too over attached to his dog, Dexter. He talks to him. Confesses to him. But most of all, he reads comics to him. When Bryant isn't working for the energy industry, helping companies figure out what to buy to make them profitable, he reaches for a new trade or drools over all of the insane JH Williams art in Batwoman's early issues. Growing up in Texas has given Bryant a very complex palate to BBQ Sauces, ranch dressing, and the occasional whiskey. His free-time is filled with panels and panels, and even more panels as he writes reviews for the wonderful institution that is, The Outhouse.
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