As a review for the entire (and very short) series, I can confidently say this is a take it or leave it. The story is incredibly rushed considering evAs a review for the entire (and very short) series, I can confidently say this is a take it or leave it. The story is incredibly rushed considering everything had to be crammed into 6 very short issues, but that doesn't really feel as though it's a viable excuse. Plenty of other comic series have the same length and are able to accomplish quite a bit in their arcs without making me feel cheated. So, what's your excuse, Deus Ex?
Before I start harping on the problems with this, I will emphasize that the artwork is quite well-done in this. While the video game seemed to try and avoid the brown shooter trope by instead being a yellow shooter, the comics actually managed to add a splash of color here and there. They also managed to make the world look a little less dirty unless it was in a place that warranted looking dirty. Who knew that was possible based on the video game? But really, that's about the only nice thing I can say about this.
While I understand the video game industry's need to be a (white) male power fantasy, there was something about Deus Ex: Human Revolution that made it more than that. While I wouldn't say the video game was out to deconstruct that, the machismo sheen the developers may have wanted to put on Jensen was largely overshadowed by the larger philosophical debate(s) about capitalism, transhumanism, the size/involvement of the government, religion, etc. The problem with the comic? All of that is removed. Sure, the video game can be a little pedantic and might beat you over the head with how blunt it is (need I remind you that God awful quote about Darrow being like Daedalus or the simple fact the protagonist is named Adam), but it made it a little more than a male power fantasy. The comic does nothing to even hint around at this, instead having a former superior officer who advises Adam to shoot to kill suddenly being like "Hey, let's shoot to kill all humans." after undergoing some severe augmentation to save his life.
And then there's the love interest who is promptly killed off after they do the nasty. I won't even touch the problems with that with a ten foot pole. I think people who follow my reviews are well-aware of what my feelings about this are likely to be. But when you have the antagonist accusing your protagonist of "falling for" the female lead after they've known each other for all of maybe five to ten minutes? My irritation cannot be put into words and more into loud shrieking and frustrated grunting with dramatic eye rolling and launching the book across the room (if I had a physical copy, anyway).
So does this add anything at all to the canon? Maybe a tiny little drop. It doesn't really add a whole lot, however, because much of this I felt I already knew from contextual clues around Adam's apartment and just from the way he talks/presents himself/prioritize certain tasks over others. If you didn't know that Adam puts protecting everyone above everything else, that he will not talk about his feelings/mental well-being surrounding both the trauma of the attack and the trauma of replacing 50% of his body with machines, then I don't know what video game you were playing. You don't even have to try to pick that up.
Like I said, this is a very take it or leave it series. It's brief enough that you can probably read it in a half hour. It's pretty enough that you might spend more time oogling the artwork as I have than you do reading it. But it's shallow and empty enough that you can probably find better things to do with those 30 minutes....more
I normally strive to write long reviews where I expound in detail about what I liked and what I didn't like about the books I'm reading, but I find myI normally strive to write long reviews where I expound in detail about what I liked and what I didn't like about the books I'm reading, but I find myself wanting to get simply to the point that I liked this and I liked it better than its predecessor. I found the plot this time around to be far more interesting than the first. It was nice to see Snow taking an active role and having to do a few hard things every now and again. I felt like the conflicts about what to do over their homelands and the problems in regards to the Farm to be very real and heavy subject matter that was handled quite nicely. Transitioning back and forth between characters in different locations as necessary was fairly seamless and didn't feel like it was a break-up in the action except for perhaps one or two spots. In the end, the current conflict was resolved, but I get the sense the overarching problems are far from even beginning to be fixed let alone the time it will take for everyone to recover from what's happened.
I believe my only major complaint was how quickly Rose Red appears to have seen the error of her ways and is doing more/better. It felt like a somewhat rushed character development....more
This is a series I have been meaning to get into since I was vastly disappointed by ABC's Once Upon A Time. While this first installment was nothing tThis is a series I have been meaning to get into since I was vastly disappointed by ABC's Once Upon A Time. While this first installment was nothing to write home about and at times bit off more than it could chew, it was still a fairly enjoyable read.
I am a huge fan of taking fairy tales and modernizing them in some capacity. It had been done a few times, but I think so far, this has been one of my more preferred attempts. I loved the mix of noir elements with the fairy tale characters. The mystery was not that complicated and the twists were somewhat predictable (though I will not pretend as though I figured it out from the beginning since I was surprised to an extent how everything tied together and I believe half the fun is sometimes letting yourself be surprised), but it was still well-written on the whole witb everything wrapping up neatly and a fun ride.
That being said, the world establishment was much more deftly handled than the plot. Not to say it was perfect, however. At times things felt rushed and crammed to the point that the murder mystery was swallowed by the lore and character introductions. This imbalance is most likely why most people walk away from this saying the premise is better than the execution. Frankly, if this wasn't the first, this wouldn't fly as even remotely acceptable, but the establishment of a longer plot extending from backstory to present and clearly future stories as well is hugely important in starting an undertaking like this. Getting to know some of the major players was a lot of fun. Especially when you can see glimpses of the storybook characters you grew up on in their more realistic and three-dimensional personalities seen here. And that is ultimately where the strength is. Prince Charming is a douche, Belle and Beast fight, and Snow is not a passive woman who lets people walk all over her (though damn she angry cries a lot). These characters are so much more interesting than the ones we grew up on and watching them interact in the world created here is what I want to see more of and what drives me to read the rest of the series. If not for that, I might pass on the series or place it in the back burner. Because it isn't as though noir is original nor is the idea of modernizing fairy tale characters. But this does it in a way that is mature and with more layers than previous and even on-going or later attempts.
Lastly, the art was decent. I am not a avid fan of western comics. Which isn't to say I dislike them, but I haven't consumed as many. So I recognize my opinion on that front doesn't mean quite as much. But given the medium, the presentation of the art and the art itself is pretty damn important that I should note something even if limited. There were pages and panels that gave me a lot of pause to look for little details or simply took my breath away for a few seconds with the level of detail present. I was a huge fan of the fairy tale style framing like a magic mirror for past incidents or incidents that occurred in their homelands. Overall, I was impressed by the art and I felt that it added a really nice touch to enhance the story rather than distracting from it or being useless in setting tone and atmosphere.
I have a good feeling walking away from a somewhat mediocre storyline based on the world and character establishment as well as the aforementioned art and that is quite the feat if you ask me. Worthy of at least 3 stars rather than maybe the 2 I would award it if this had been a standard novella....more