The first issue of the Army of Two comic, which spins out of the co-op shooter brought to your screen by EA, is out this week. Just in time for The 40th Day.
Chris Bachalo and the singularly-named 'Jock' - two of the finest artists working in comics today - contributed artwork to the game
. Was it so foolish of me to hope that one of them might have drawn the comic? (I mean, aside from the fact that I could have read the solicitation - catalogue listing, if you're not a regular comics reader - several months ago.) Well, yes, it turns it was foolish of me to hope for that.
It's not unheard of for well-established comics creators to get involved with game licenses. Hell, this very comic was written by Peter Milligan, a man who has built a strong reputation writing the likes of Shade the Changing Man
(the weird run, drawn by Mike Allred) and X-Men
Instead, we get a chap called Dexter Soy bringing the eponymous Army of two: Salem and Rios, to the page. He's not a bad artist, he's just not Jock or Bachalo. The pencils are solid, but not hugely exciting. Soy is best on character work and he dishes out a fairly faithful rendition of the two bickering mercs (although his figures look a little wonky in places) but occasionally his backgrounds look a little rushed.
The colouring by RetroAero doesn't help, making the whole thing look a bit dull. All that said, I do expect to one day come across a comic pencilled by Dexter Soy that looks awesome. Unfortunately, it's not quite this one.
Story-wise, we've got Salem and Rios - by the looks of it in the time-frame between the two games - moving into Mexico on behalf of the US government to help in a conflict between a drug cartel and a street gang called The Maras.
The Mexican army got involved but isn't doing a very good job of preventing things from escalating. It's an interesting enough premise but it's yet to deliver any really thrilling moments. The dialogue between Salem and Rios doesn't quite have the punch that I would have liked, but their banter still manages to be fun. Milligan does a solid enough job overall, but it's far from his best work.
I wanted this to be good. Instead, it's just OK. Buy it if you desperately want more Army of Two. If you're not that arsed, you can afford to leave it alone.
SPOnG Score: 73%
Army of Two #1
provided for review by OK Comics