Review - Onyx #1

"Before anything even more dangerous arrives."

If you're Tony Stark, you've got the means and know-how to put together a fancy suite replete with offensive and defensive capabilities. That suit goes a long way towards helping protect the Earth against whatever manner of enemy attacks it. The world of Onyx #1 from IDW Publishing doesn't have Tony Stark, which means it needs to rely on an intergalactic hero to save the day. The issue is written by Chris Ryall, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, colored by Jay Fotos and lettered by Shawn Lee.

From deepest space comes the cyborg warrior Onyx... but has she come to Earth in its time of dire need to save it or to end it? A star-born knight for a new generation takes flight here.

Onyx #1 presents a future Earth where we're at least passably equipped to handle alien incursions, even if we're unsure of their true intentions. Ryall uses the concept of aliens fighting battles on Earth as the premise behind Onyx #1, as Onyx's pursuit of a virus lands her amidst a group of very suspicious armed forces. Introducing the reader to this group is done quite simply and Ryall doesn't waste story time to do so; instead, he lets their actions and dialogue do all the characterization. Onyx as a character seems inspired by X-O Manowar in many regards and even the conflict with the virus spreading throughout the galaxy is similar to the threat of the Vine. The conflict that spans much of the issue does a great job of showcasing how devastating the virus can be and Ryall plots out the first issue in a way that effectively sets up the remainder of the series.

The look of Onyx #1 is very much military, as Rodriguez illustrates characters in full assault gear and an affinity for sneering. Onyx (interestingly enough) boasts a chrome/silver finish. They're a stark contrast to the mutated creatures that the squad faces off against, which largely resemble representations of mythical creatures or creature cards from Magic: The Gathering. What makes the issue feel even more frenetic is the panel layout that Rodriguess presents in very jagged and intermixed ways--straight panel borders are eschewed for angled ones. Fotos uses colors that skew green to showcase the depths of the jungle and is the color most pervasive throughout the entire issue.

Onyx #1 is a bombastic first issue that pretty clearly lays out the stakes for the players involved. Onyx is here to help, but Earth's reception to the arrival of a weaponized alien raises the expected suspicions and weariness. Ryall's script is pretty straightforward and gives the reader enough to grab onto for understanding where the story will likely go. Rodriguez's art style is pretty clean and effectively depicts the conflict brought to Earth. Onyx #1 will appeal to readers who like a little intergalactic mixed in with their superheroes and where it goes from here should be a pretty fun ride.

Onyx #1 is available now.