In Review: Red Agent #3

The perfect mix of action, spies, magic, and cyberpunk. Recommended!

The covers: Four choices for you to seek out before they are taken by the Circle. The A cover is by Anthony Spay and Hedwin Zaldivar. It features Eve giving some payback to one of the scientists who has been “working” on her. She looks very pleased with the pain she’s causing, and I can’t say I blame her. The circuitry on her arms alters readers that she’s not a normal human being. The coloring is nicely futuristic, with mechanical blues and greens being the primary colors. This scene is not in the book, but it probably will be next month. The B is a wraparound cover by Cai Cacau showing Britney from the back side with both of her guns ready. Very sexy and clever for a cover. Definitely has a James Bond vibe to it, but I don’t think Bond ever posed this seductively. Talent Caldwell is responsible for the C cover which features Britney and Avril back to back, with more of the sorceress shown. I like the look of this cover and the soft colors make it particularly striking. I’d be more than willing to put down some money if Caldwell were to do a Zenescope book’s interiors like this. The final cover, the D, is by the interior art team of this series, Diego Galindo on the art and Grostieta on the colors. This a terrific shot of Britney unhappy in the foreground, flanked by Avril and Ditto. This is a great hero shot of the book’s leads. The art is awesome and the coloring smashing, with the flames incredible. Overall grades: A A-, B A, C A+, and D A+

The story: Outside Ditto’s locked door to his secret room, Britney and Avril are there to help the young man. Avril has Britney stand back and she transforms the door to glass so they can enter. Once in, they find Ditto on the floor having a seizure; he’s physically jacked into his computer and his monitors state “SLAG PROTOCOL ACTIVE. T -0:15 TO MELTDOWN.” Britney pulls the cord connecting him and begins to drag him out. He wakes long enough to warn her, “He’s coming. Run!” As they make their way out, the owner of the store that Ditto has secreted himself in stands in their way. Avril helps the man out of the store in a unique way, but something happens to him on Page 5. With the store now on fire, it would seem that they’re free from danger, until Alpha appears in a powerful vehicle. Their escape isn’t easy, with the villain taunting Avril in the worst possible way. This is obviously the midway point of this series, concocted by Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, and Lou Iovino, with Iovino writing the tale. The three heroes are now together and a countdown is begun on the fate of Eve. I love the combination of spies, magic, and cyberpunk. The only thing missing is the medical team to take me down from the rush. Overall grade: A+

The art: Diego Galindo is a terrific artist. Look at how well he sets up the first page: an establishment of the setting, a small close-up of one of the leads, a panel to establish the distance between characters, a bust shot of a character using her magical abilities, and the powerful result of those abilities. It’s great. I love that when Avril uses her powers her irises disappear, making her look dangerous – as she should! The large panel on Page 2 is a terrific hero shot, with the last panel on the page showing the other giving a reaction, without dialogue. This final panel telegraphs to the reader that something bad has occurred, and that “bad” thing is shown at the top of Page 3. The largest panel on 3 shows the new location in detail, including the countdown clock on the heroes; it’s a tense shot. Galindo can create wonderful emotions on his characters, which is shown on Page 4 in panels three and four; the look on Britney’s face in the fourth panel adds a visual tone that adds to the dialogue she’s speaking. There’s an incredibly shocking moment in the fourth panel on 5 that had me reacting like Avril. There’s a really good car chase, which is always impressive to see in a comic book when done correctly. I really liked the look of Page 17 which is an excellent way to show what one character is experiencing, when such an event is truly impossible to illustrate. But that’s what Galindo does: make the impossible possible. Outstanding. Overall grade: A+

The colors: The contributions to this book by Grostieta are amazing. The first page shows that pink is not a color to write off as juvenile; it’s used to amazing effect and is quite daunting when employed. Reds take over beginning on Page 2, yet so many different shades of this color are used it’s impressive that nothing bleeds together: everything can be identified. And what a terrific job on that middle panel on the second page! The bright red of Britney’s costume makes her an instant eye magnet for the reader, and this is especially true on Page 8 where she’s a beacon in every panel. There are some really nice effects with the light on Page 11 where it looks almost like a photograph. Page after page, panel after panel, Grostieta is amazing. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, sounds, computer text, signage, yells, transmissions (?) from Eve, and the tease for next issue are crafted by Fabio Amelia. Every font is visually pleasing and fitting for their purpose. The italicizing and bolding of certain words allows the reader to know when the character is speaking in a stressed tone, the sounds put the right punch into every scene, and the scene settings have a spy organization feel. Great work. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The perfect mix of action, spies, magic, and cyberpunk. Each issue leaves me breathless and hungry for more. 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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