ADVANCE REVIEW! The Activity #1 will go on sale Wednesday, December 21, 2011.
With The Activity #1, Nathan Edmondson doesn't so much jump headfirst into the world of espionage as much as he gingerly walks into the pool, testing the temperature with his toes. The comic is paneled like one giant montage from Burn Notice, or perhaps the Ocean's movies. It fits the story pacing perfectly. Edmondson is taking his time here, giving you a brief introduction to the characters and what it is they do. Imagine a government sponsored A-Team. They are the problem solvers; they do the jobs others can't.
The A-Team, err… Team Omaha grabs The Most Interesting Man in the world.
The story weaves a nice little plot, opening with the team taking down The Most Interesting Man in the World while he is enjoying a nice steak. They deliver him, van style, to a group of men who suited up for the occasion. This issue is all about setting up the stage for the story to stand on. You're given a brief insight into the existing team, learning quietly that they were down one member. Hmm… like that isn't going to come back up. That is sarcasm… in case you weren't paying attention.
It is a little clever, it gives Edmondson a chance to introduce the team as they stand, to a new member, The Fiddler.
That coffee burns with the power of a thousand suns!!!
Edmondson delivers the story smoothly, telling a nice little action story without taking itself too seriously. Unfortunately, there isn't much to really get you hooked. The art is great, and the montage style delivery in the panels is catchy. The story just isn't that intriguing. There isn't a great deal of danger in the mission, and there isn't a whole lot of plot driving the story forward. All you know is this is a secret government agency tasked to do the jobs others can't. In this issue it involved painting a car and lighting a office on fire with an oversized laser pointer.
Throughout the story however, the art is delivered in a pleasing and easy to follow manner. The perspectives used in each panel feel like they belong and Gerads deliver some great visuals once the team gets out of the office. The panels carry the story forward and I felt more compelled by the art than anything actually said during the story. Gerads takes his cue from a plethora of action movies and it shows. Each panel from the comic could be copy and pasted into a heist film and fit right in.
Edmondson and Gerads are building up to something here. There are times the comic shined, Edmondson left some subtle story points that I'm willing to bet the farm on that will come up later. Why does the Fiddler decide to join the team? Just how did the team mate become worm food? Edmondson does deliver a nice little story involving Nero fiddling on the roof while Rome burned, which is how the newest team member gets her code name; she was fiddling on a roof while an office in Rome burned.
Gerads' art is all you really need here.
Overall, as far as first issues go, it feels a bit light. That may seem like a criticism, but it isn't. Often enough first issues are cram packed and over saturated. This one is a little light but it carries itself well. It is something I look forward to seeing develop.
Dylan B. Tano is a relatively new reviewer powered by a love of bacon and constantly distracted by a kitten who would rather use his laptop as a bed. He grew up idolizing Spider-Man and can't believe he gets to review comics all day.