By Zack Quaintance — The Warning #1 begins with a heavily-stylized opening, rich with hints of anime or manga storytelling aesthetics. Fans of Sean Gordon Murphy should take note, because the art in The Warning (from this opening onward) is perhaps best described as like Murphy’s stuff if it were thoroughly sharpened and rendered by a team of modern video game designers. Simply put, the art in this book looks good.
As it should. The Warning #1 is the work of writer/artist Edward Laroche, and, indeed, the art is rarely lacking here. The writing is assured, no question, but it’s definitely the weaker of the two. There’s also a military coldness that is perhaps here by design. Still, it makes the characters and the early plot points in this debut issue tough to gloam onto, at least at the beginning. The earliest dialogue in The Warning is a harsh mix of military call numbers and other terminology, some medical jargon, a bunch of profanity. It doesn’t exactly say, hey there, reader...welcome! But this also isn’t that kind of book.
This is a good-looking and massively MASSIVELY decompressed comic. One where very little happens in the first 20 pages aside from a soldier boarding a plane bound on a mission while elsewhere a woman in a luxurious house hears that presumably that same mission has the potential to save the planet. Also, she does a line of coke. To be frank, it doesn’t make for the most riveting debut, playing as it does more like a storyboard for a hard sci-fi movie directed by Quentin Tarantino…before any of the violence starts.
What it seems to do well, however, is promise that when the action does arrive, it will have been worth the wait. Essentially, The Warning #1 is a first issue clearly written for trade, a patient and perhaps slow-moving-to-a-fault debut that looks great as it shuffles a whole lot of pieces into place. There’s a bit of poetic reincarnation dialogue that just didn’t click for me. I do imagine, however, that some will find it incredibly meaningful. For my part, however, I’ll be waiting to pass final judgement on this title until we get to see its pretty artwork conveying real action.
Overall: A good-looking debut, to be certain, but nothing much really happens in The Warning #1 other than vague setup for a potential alien invasion. This could very well be by design; the book feels pretty confident in its pacing. Really though, this seems like a comic clearly written for trade. As such, the strength of this first issue will be determined almost entirely by what comes next. 7.0/10
The Warning #1
Writer/Artist: Edward Laroche
Colorist: Brad Simpson
Letterer: Jaymes Reed
Publisher: Image Comics
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Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.