Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero is written by the film’s screen writer Travis Beacham under the supervision of director Guillermo Del Toro, with Alex Ross lending his talents to the cover. If you want to go into the cinema with an understanding of what is going on in this movie grab this graphic novel.
The book is broken up into 3 important sections: K-Day, Turn of the Tide and the Bono. Naomi Sokolov ties these three sections together with her reporting piece on “Why we fight”. She is writing this piece in the hopes of getting more funding for the Jaeger Programme, which looks like it is on its way to being closed down in favor of the construction of a giant wall to separate the Kaiju from humanity. This leads her to the various stories told in each section of the book.
K-Day has nothing to do with our local musicians performing on stage. Instead, K-Day documents the arrival of the first beast from beneath the ocean. This happened a decade before the events of the movie. We see how humanity lost hope and was not able to cope with this unknown threat. We are also introduced to one of the central characters, Stacker Pentecost, who is played by Idris Elba. We see what causes him to join the fight against the Kaiju.
Turn of the Tide focuses on the inception of the Jaegers and we are introduced to Dr. Schoenfeld, one of the great minds behind their creation. Schoenfeld tells the heartwarming story of how he saw his son playing with robot vs monster toys and got the wild idea to fight monsters by creating monsters of their own. We are also introduced to the main characters and see just how much of a toll piloting a Jaeger can take upon one’s body – Pentecost uses himself as a test subject. A number of important things happen in this chapter and it also reveals the reasoning of the dual pilot system.
The Bono deals with the complexities brought about by the dual pilot system. It shows the readers the system’s strengths and weaknesses. It also highlights the amazing bond created between pilots that share a Jaeger. The Bono also further develops Pentecost’s character and gives insight into why he was chosen as the pilot academy leader. He is the thread that holds the entire graphic novel together.
Although each section is illustrated by a different artist the art flows easily from one chapter into the other. In fact, they gel so well you might not even now the shift in art had happened. This story is not for the kids either. It deals with subject matter of an adult nature, such as: love triangles that contain affairs within affairs, student and teacher relationship of a sexual nature and mind sex (who would have thought Dead Prez were on to something). Mix these things up with some violence and partial nudity and what we have is a sure fire hit.
The prequel is a great read that I would recommend to anyone. It serves as a great introduction to the characters of Pacific Rim. It’s so much more than just a prequel. It’s a story in its own right.