Cyclops is a story set in a not-too-distant future where the United Nations has outsourced peacekeeping operations to private companies (sounds sort of familiar). The difference between our reality and the reality of this book is that the private companies become the lead forces in a war that breaks out. The mercenaries are the ones best in position to make a difference in the overall outcome.
But since this is privatized warfare, companies might as well make a few bucks on the process, right? Each soldier wears a large camera lens on the forehead area of their helmets, hence they look like the Greek mythological Cyclops. With this modified gear, soldiers are able to provide live, on-the-ground footage at all times.
Cyclops is a fascinating look at a believable future where around-the-clock live feeds are available for diehard media junkies. In this issue, we see a group of soldiers fight an entire battle on the televisions/monitors of the entire world. When lead character Douglas Pistoia risks his life in a reckless maneuver, he becomes an instant hero and a celebrity.
Considering how much coverage the world saw of the Iraq War in 2003, I can believe that we are only a few steps away from this future. The media has gained more and more access, and operations like WikiLeaks change the capabilities of news reporting in sensitive intelligence areas.
Most importantly, Matz and Jacamon take this concept and make it an engaging story with relatable characters in difficult moral situations. And the art is gorgeous. Jacamon uses the same style for his lean figures as he did in Archaia’s Killer, but the uniforms and weaponry feel more like the Halo video game franchise.
Though mainstream audiences may not recognize the characters, they should certainly take the risk and pick up Archaia’s Cyclops.