Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review - The Threat #1 (Reboot)

"There is always some obstacle to overcome."

Something will destroy the world--it's inevitable. Whether that something is man-made or not remains to be seen, but people will be forced to adapt in order to survive. That adaptation takes on an interesting form in The Threat #1 (Reboot) from Stratum Comics. The issue is written by Mark Schmidt and Vince Chuter, illustrated by Jose Fernandez, colored by William Anderson and lettered by Schmidt.

After a societally devastating event in 2024, humanity must fight to survive and rebuild from the ashes of past. As the world crumbled, one man’s vision brought his society back from the brink and created a spectacular new city and a new seat of power for the United States rose in Houston, Texas. A group of people trying to survive everyday life are forced to defend themselves against the new order and in doing so may become the city’s last hope of survival.

After an initial launch nearly three years ago, the creators went back to the drawing board and completely revamped The Threat #1. The story maintains much of the same sense of dread pervasive throughout, as there's a corporation looming large and insistent on meddling with humanity for profit. While the original version of the issue had something of a disconnect between the corporation and the people, Schmidt and Chuter have remedied that greatly in The Threat #1 (Reboot), as the story has been rearranged to flow better. The most positive result from that reorganization is that the story feels more cohesive and makes a lot more sense, smoothing out the rough edges evident in the original version. Much of the dialogue feels more concise and as if it makes more sense, which gives the book itself a lot more in terms of depth.

One of the most notable improvements over the original is the artwork and the style of artwork by Fernandez. His approach is much more fluid than the previous issue and gives the book a feeling that resonates more with a comic book. Characters are defined by strong outlines, accenting their physiques against backgrounds that feature a lot of detail. Each panel feels alive, courtesy of plenty of characters populating each panel. There are some instances where the facial expressions seem a little strange, as if their emotional responses are shown by an expression that's a caricature of the expression itself. Anderson's colors are vibrant and present much more noticeable differences between characters.

The Threat #1 (Reboot) is a much more streamlined work than its predecessor. The concept of a corporation sacrificing the well-being of individuals for the sake of profit certainly isn't new, but there's a clash building up in the story that will likely prove to be pretty epic. Reorganizing the script did wonders for the story, as Schmidt and Chuter offer a cleaner plot. The artwork by Fernandez is also cleaner and gives the book a stronger comic book feel. The Threat #1 (Reboot) sets a lot at the table for a first issue, but there are clear improvements in presentation that make the meal a lot more digestible.

The Threat #1 (Reboot) should be available in November.


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