Wednesday, November 19, 2008
In cased you missed it...Contract #0
Story by Garan Madeiros and Charlie Shell
Art by Dave Ross, Sal Velluto, Kevin Sharpe, Ariel Padilla, and Mark McKenna
Published by First Salvo
When I first even heard about this book, it was on my comic shop's list of titles for the upcoming week. I feel it's important, nay, almost an OBLIGATION to at least check out some independent titles on occasion. You don't want to be that sucker that's missing out on a great read just because it doesn't have the press machine that Marvel or DC has.
To quote the Diamond's May Previews: "In a capitalist world's dark future, Mercenary is no longer just a soldier for hire. It's a way of life. Law is enforced by cyber-powered Mercs and life or death is decided by the lowest bidder. There is no right or wrong beyond the price in hard currency. Jessie Garrett, however, is everything most Mercs are not: honest, selfless and determined to bring order to greed-hardened worlds, driven mad by money. But when a corporate kidnapping goes wrong, Jessie, and fellow Mercs, Panzer and Tsumi, get in over their heads."
Now, just reading that I had a flashback to 9th grade games of Rifts after school. Also, the main character, Jessie, looks like an amalgamation between Marshall Bravestarr and Judge J.B. McBride, but I think that's just me. The story is pretty solid. Madeiros and Shell don't just have a script, they have a world. It's not as bizarre as the Marvel 2099 future, but outlandish and entertaining enough to have kept me interested to where I wonder what will happen next. It's seriously a fun read, sort of what "Battle Chasers" was, only in a cyber-western environment. One complaint though, similar to what Robert Jordan did with his epic Wheel of Time series, I would include a glossary in the front or back to explain some of the terminology. Just like how I wish Peter David had included one on his "Dark Tower" series.
A plethora of artists worked together, though the one that stood out for me was Kevin Sharpe. His style is almost J. Scott Campbell meets Adam Hughes. I would love to see this guy become just as popular as the forementioned artists. Any fan of such shows like "Firefly" or the mutually short-lived "Bionic Woman" would love to get a hold of these issues when they hit shelves. Though that itself can be problematic. A lot of big chain stores don't order independent books like this unless it has huge press behind it. Or possibly is about to made into a movie...or some ordeal like that. So more than likely you are going to have to ask for this (I had to at my girlfriend's shop) so it CAN fill the shelves. Okay, so maybe not fill the shelves...that would mean nobody is buying it. You get the gist though. Now, the company knows you are taking a risk on an unknown, independent comic so Contract #0 will only cost you a mere $0.25! So, if you've got the time, and the spare quarter, check this title out. What do you have to lose?