Comic Publishers

November 25, 2010

Disney Reviews: Tron: Betrayal

Tron: Betrayal
Disney Press
Writer: Jai Nitz
Artist(s): Jeff Matsuda & Andi Tong
Cover: Jock

“Betrayal”: “Greetings, programs!” Back in 1982 Kevin Flynn uttered these words after being transported to a digital world of his own creation and forced to fight for his life in various games. He was joined by the system’s top security program Tron, and along with Ram they battled the evil of the MCP (Master Control Program) and Flynn was able to escape back to real world. The events in Tron: Betrayal take place after the original film Tron and lead us directly into the new film, Tron: Legacy.

As the years have passed, the Grid has evolved and Kevin Flynn (now in his mid-thirties) is attempting to balance his life in the real world as CEO of ENCOM and expectant father, along with helping Tron maintain his ever evolving digital world. Realizing he’d need to be in two places at once, he creates an avatar of himself and Clu 2.0 is born. An upgraded version of his former avatar who was derezzed in the film Tron. Flynn charges Clu with helping to create the perfect system while he handles the complexities of the outside world. Things run smoothly for a bit until a new form of self created programs called Isomorphic Algorithums, or “Isos” for short, start appearing on the Grid. At the same time the Grid begins to experience other issues and a division begins as the original Programs and Isos are at odds, and Clue begins to display a manner of rule reminiscent of the MCP from years before. It isn’t long before things come crashing down on both of Kevin Flynn’s worlds, but things only get worse as he struggles to keep things together.

I have to say that Jai Nitz did a great job bridging the 28 year gap between the films in Tron: Betrayal. The prologue is basically the events of Tron as told by the record keeper Dumont. A perfect way for anyone who has never seen the film to not feel like they’re missing too much and familiarize themselves a bit with some of the characters. My only issue with Tron: Betrayal was the abrupt change in the tone of the book between chapters one and two, but as the story unfolded in the second chapter it was a bit easier to take. The parallel between the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to Flynn’s creation of the Grid was a nice touch that added a bit more to the narration in the story.

Matsuda’s artwork on the 11 page prologue was pretty good and was heightened by the coloring of Pete Pantazis. That combination helped capture the definitive look of the Tron franchise and made me want to see an actual series done by Matsuda. The work for the main story was handled by Andi Tong who did a fine job conveying the new look inspired by the upcoming film, Tron: Legacy. From the design of the Grid to Flynn’s time in the real world, Tong kept a consistently nice style. His Flynn wasn’t a spot on look alike for Jeff Bridges, but he was still recognizable and that’s all I ask for in books based off of movies. There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to recognize the main character because the artist couldn’t match it. Usually I see books based on movies that are half assed either concerning the story or artwork. However, Tron: Betrayal has a great visual style provided by Matsuda and Tong, and Nitz’s story is a solid read by any means.

For the die hard Tron fans this book is a must have that gives them a richer story and helps bridge the two films together. It’s also a great read for the casual reader interested in seeing Tron: Legacy and wanting a bit of background before seeing the film, and nothing will be spoiled for you that you haven’t seen in the trailers. I’d also suggest checking out The Art of Tron: Legacy if you’re a longtime fan of the franchise or if you’re new to the Tron mythos!


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