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September 11, 2009

Titanium Rain #1 Review

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Written by: Andy
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What condition do you predict the world to be in 20 years from now? Well, in Titanium Rain the future looks bleak as the continent of Asia has erupted into a civil war, forcing countries to take sides while the United Nations is caught in a quagmire, preventing it from intervening. The Chinese Jade Empire has begun their tyrannic bid for control of the Eastern Hemisphere, but the Sino Union, the land of Free Tibet, and of course, the good ol’United States of America are the only nations who have the stones to stand in their way. The members of the Jade Empire have commenced what they call their ‘Divine Revolt,’ and by outnumbering the Allied Citizens nearly 3 to 1, engage in all out warfare in their bid for supreme domination! Titanium Rain is published by Archaia Studio Press, and is written by Josh Finney (UtopiatesStar Trek: Enterprise) with art by both he and his wife, Kat Rocha (Utopiates).

Sometimes writing for a comic web site has it’s perks, as I was forwarded an advance PDF copy of issue #1 by our friend here at the site, Michael Colbert (who is going to be depicted in the book and is good friends with Josh and Kat). After meeting him in my store I was excited to discover what Titanium Rain was all about, and when he sent me the file, I had no clue what to expect. Well, the post analysis is this; Titanium Rain #1 totally exceeded my expectations, and I’m happy to promote it here at Comic Attack because it’s just that good!

The book reads like a thrilling hybrid of the movie Black Hawk Down, the RPG BattleTech, and a game of Risk. It’s made up of intense action sequences mixed with political intrigue on a global scale. It sets the pace right from the opening panel as we read a peaceful quote from the Buddha positioned above a stone statue of him, which is subsequently blown to bits by automatic gunfire. The year is 2031 and weaponry has advanced to include giant mechs armed with machine guns and rocket launchers, and anti-aircraft mechs that resemble giant spiders. A fierce street battle is played out, and when the opposition becomes too much for the American forces to handle, they radio in for some air support- a group of F-35X Hellcat pilots who call themselves Phoenix Squadron.

The air combat commandos are a group of highly trained individuals and Alec Killian, a.k.a ‘Space Case’ is the leading player of the story. We are introduced to the rest of the crew (Buffalo- the abrasive one, Chess- the cocky leader, Happy- an intelligent British woman, and Peanut- the aviator shades-wearing cool dude) as the exposition is dealt with nicely during a round of poker. The pilots role play as different factions of the global conflict and gamble accordingly, as Chess draws analogies to the game and their current war-time situation.

Suddenly an emergency alarm goes off and the pilots abandon their hands to take to the skies, heading towards the contested mainland in China where the fiercest fighting (and our opening battle scene) is taking place. This is when we learn that there is more to the group of air commandos than initially meets the eye…. Take my word for it- I didn’t see this reveal coming, and it’s an awesome surprise!

Titanium Rain is everything you wish G.I. Joe would be, as it significantly ups the bar for military themed comic books. Archaia Studio Press joins the ranks of indie companies like Asylum Press who, despite being one of the little guys, refuse to shirk quality in favor of quantity. Finney’s writing is intricate and thoroughly researched, while he and Rocha’s pencils are clean and shockingly realistic (their style reminds me a lot of Mike Choi’s work), complete with bright, vibrant colors. Check out these quotes and preview images from the issue:

“To be alive is to be at odds with the world.” – Alec Killian

“There’s only one way to be at peace with nature… and that’s to give up the fight.” – Killian

“You know how the public is… say you wanna improve on God’s design and everyone gets squeamish.” – Mister Bramford

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Titanium Rain #1 (of 6) supposedly debuted in August, and for more information check out the official website by clicking this link. Also, please visit Mike Colbert’s website on Cancer Research by clicking here.

Seriously, how bad ass does this book look!

Andy Liegl
andy@comicattack.net

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8 Comments


  1. Jordan

    The artwork on this is crazy!



  2. I know right? It’s exactly the right feel for a war themed comic series!


  3. The Movie Lady

    The visuals for this comic are AWESOME! It’s like watching cut scenes for a good military video game.



  4. Looks like a combination of traditional and digital…really well done.


  5. Kelly

    Holy Moly, that’s some crazy good art! I’m totally impressed.



  6. […] important in a market saturated with sub-par comics, and they deliver. Books like Days Missing, Titanium Rain, The Killer, Syndrome, and Secret History (stay tuned for a review!) are all mind blowing and […]



  7. […] I’m a huge fan of Archaia’s books as The Killer, Days Missing, Secret History, Titanium Rain, and Mouse Guard rank amongst some of my favorites from the company. They put out quality work and […]



  8. […] started by talking with couple Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, the creative team on Titanium Rain. I reviewed the book before it was released by getting my hands on an advanced PDF thanks to my friend Mike Colbert. It […]



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