Review - The Reconcilers #1

Neal Adams. That's a name I've not heard for quite some time. That's also about to change with the recent release of The Reconcilers #1 by Viking Warrior Press. The Reconcilers #1 boasts the talents of R. Emery Bright, Erik Jensen, Shepherd Hendrix and Jens Pil Pilegaard and some involvement on the part of Adams. Is the story of a dystopian mining future worth your eyes comes December when it's released? Read on.

The timeline in The Reconcilers is all based against an event known as the Holy Outcome. in 2155 AD the Great Awakening occurs in synonymity with the Holy Outcome and Sean Hexhammer is having a bad day. He's fighting in what appears to be an underground fight club in an effort to move on from the death of what appears to be his wife. Only a few pages are spent on the underground fighting and seems somewhat forced in to make latter parts of the story make more sense. Fast forward ten years where Hexhammer works as a miner for Hansen Lunar Engineering, contracted by a mammoth corporation called Sokor. Hexhammer et al find a massive amount of Liberty Ore, placing Hexhammer and his team right in the middle of a dispute about ownership of the profits between Hansen employees and Sokor.

The dispute is what sets the backdrop for the book. Essentially, the world Hexhammer lives in has returned to somewhat gladitorial roots where disputes are settled via Reconciliation, a battle to the death with the winner taking all. The idea is actually very clever and is probably a more accurate explanation for how many in corporations would like things resolved, even though they won't admit as much. The latter half of the book centers on the "Reconciliation" between Hansen and Sokor, with the typical "David vs. Goliath" scenario. Hexhammer is forced back into combat duty because of his previous fighting experience and ability to coordinate the Hansen team members in battle. Hexhammer is really the only character that the reader can truly connect to because the bulk of the character background is about him. There are a bunch of other characters that do have personalities that show through in various instances, but Hexhammer is sort of forced to develop through the focus on him.

The writing is a little hard to follow at first and I don't know if it's primarily because you're being thrust into a brand new universe or because it uses a lot of jargon pertinent to that universe. It's not an impossible read, but there were a few scenes that I had to read twice to catch up with what was going on. In an effort to alleviate some of the woes of learning the new universe, the creators have worked in intricately detailed renderings of weapons, vehicles and buildings as chapter breaks. These are welcome deviations that show the creators have put a lot of thought into The Reconcilers universe and it won't suffer from continuity gaps. The pacing of the story seems a little scattershot as well, with some scenes spread over two or three pages that seem to be inserted just to explain something that will happen later on. The art has boasts vibrant colors and seems more superhero-ish than anything.

Overall, The Reconcilers #1 lays the groundwork for an interesting tale. I'm a little worried that with so many creators having a part that there will be some dilution. What's more, if future issues become more about actual Reconciliation matches and less about the dynamics between the two classes (rich industry vs. everyone else) the book could get old real quick. I like the possible direction of the book; hopefully the characters will be more fleshed out as it goes on and will give readers more of something to empathize with. Adams really seems to be adding his name only to the work, so if you're expecting an Adams revival here you may want to look elsewhere. If you want a comic about a dystopian future where the rich screw over the rest of the universe with laborers fighting back, then this may be the book for you.