June 2, 2012

Image Comics Review: Marksmen vol. 1 Tpb

Marksmen vol. 1 – Tpb
Publisher: Image/Benaroya
Writer: Dave Baxter
Artist: Javier Aranda & Garry Leach (cover by Tomm Coker)
Colorist: Jessica Kholinne & Benny Maulana

The city of New San Diego has been built and thrives with the advancements that they have made in technology. Lone Star is a city that is quite the opposite. It has been thriving not from a technological standpoint, but from a religious one. This leadership has given the people hope that they will someday overcome the “godless” people of New San Diego. The zealots that lead them are a man named “The Duke” and his fanatical friend Deacon Glenn. A war is brewing in this dystopian future, one where years before the president of the United States had resigned, and war, famine, and every other terrible thing has forced people outside of New San Diego to live off of the land.

The story isn’t your typical good guys vs. bad guys story when you look deep. On the surface it may seem that way, but honestly, it’s about perspective. Sure, the people that are from Lone Star are fanatical, but the people from New San Diego have a superiority complex and rely on technology instead of ingenuity. Both societies are flawed and are in dire need of fixing their way of life. Lone Star is running out of oil, though, and when that happens, they’re in big trouble. Their solution is to overtake New San Diego by force and any means necessary, which will start a war that will cost hundreds of lives. Is that worth technology or fuel? In this future, maybe.

The writing team is credited as Michael Benaroya, David Baxter, and Dave Elliot. This collaboration is evidence that multiple writers/creators can get it done. There is a certain stereotype on books that have multiple writers, that they have “too many hands in the pot,” so to speak. Honestly, though, this writing crew did a great job and made this book seem very cinematic. Lots of big scenes full of explosions, huge brawls, and everything in between. On top of all that, there are family issues, love scenes, and thought provoking moral situations.

On the side of artwork, there are also multiple people getting the job done. Javier Aranda and Garry Leach are responsible for the pencils and finish work, and they did a great job on those duties. The characters, weapons, backgrounds, etc., were all very cool. Two different colorists and a letterer round out the rest of the creative team. They also did the book justice, as well. The cover for the trade (wraparound) was solid, too, but it was definitely better than the “covers” that separated the chapters (six issues) in the book. Overall, this is another testament to the great books that Benaroya Publishing is putting together (through Image). Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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