In Review: Drone: Fatal Error#2

Passing on this futuristic Cold War adventure would be a fatal mistake. Recommended.

The cover: The army of Chinese drones that began their attack on the American ship in the previous issue are the subjects of this installment’s cover. Randy Kintz has rendered the leader drone in the foreground sharply, illustrating it precisely, while the four behind it are much looser — blurred to show the distance between them. It’s a nice, simple effect that makes it appear that heat is simmering off of them. The colors by Ivan Plascencia seem simple but they’re not. By keeping the background absent of color, the reader is drawn to the machinations. The red eyes on the leader have a neat horizontal glare coming from them, which mirrors the figure on its face. The drones behind it are lighter, for distance, but their inhuman eyes are still visible. A slick job by both individuals. Overall grade: A

The story: The Chinese drones had just arrived on the American ship last issue, shooting anyone in their way. The American drones had been taken out deep in the ocean, though David Weaver’s drone survives. As Scott Chitwood’s story begins in this issue, individuals are sealing themselves away to get out of harm’s way, starting first with Kat and her crew. The individuals working the drones try to leave their stations but spot the villainous machines. David tries to bring his unit to the surface as quickly as possible, hitching a ride on the umbilical cable that brought the others to the ocean’s floor. On the bridge, the captain is taken down by the leader of the Chinese drones, and has a minion begin to move the ship. This causes David’s drone to go flying. This is a solid action issue, with one man–er, drone taking on all the villains. Watching David’s machination in action shows that he’s much more experienced with the unit than others are. It’s believable that he should be successful, to a point, and that point comes on Page 20. There’s also a good bit of humor, with the second panel on 21 being my favorite. This issue moves quickly and has me revved up for next month. Overall grade: A

The art: I couldn’t remember what the art looked like in the previous issue. As I began to read this issue, I found myself initially frustrated with what I was looking at. Randy Kintz’s work is sketchy. If more time had been spent on the artwork, it would look much more finished. However, as I progressed through this issue I found myself liking what I was seeing. The thin, quick lines matched the pacing of the story, which moved rapidly. The second panel on the first page shows where Cat and her peers are hiding out and the location is pretty nice. The instrument that comes into play in fifth panel is very well done. I’m not a fan of simplified faces, such as in the second panel on Page 3, but when the characters are shown in close-up the details in their faces look fine. Page 8 has the action kick into overdrive and it looks terrific. Page 13 is a sweetly constructed scene that shows the movement of three characters; it’s excellently constructed for what’s occurring. Overall grade: A-

The colors: Ivan Plascencia is a strong contributor to this book. His work is incredible right on the first page with his fantastic use of greens for the location of Cat and company. The sky for the exteriors of the ship is a bright pink-orange or yellow that is dynamic. I like that Scott wears a rose-pink tee shirt to have him stand out from those around him. I like that the Chinese drones are grey in color, giving them a very industrial feel one would assign to Cold War nations, while Scott’s is a life affirming green. Plascencia is giving his all and it’s all working. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Yells, dialogue, sounds, and drone speak are done by Troy Peteri. I really have to give Mr. Peteri praise for being able to have characters yell or scream without having one of those annoying partial balloons surrounding the character’s exclamations. For example, in the first panel someone yells, and rather than having only the first or last three letters in the balloon with the rest of the text in a tight balloon, the entire text is in the balloon. Thank you, Mr. Peteri, for doing this right! Overall grade: A

The final line: Passing on this futuristic Cold War adventure would be a fatal mistake. Recommended. Overall grade: A 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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