Zero #1 is the latest offering from Ales Kot. It follows the mission of Edward Zero, an assassin working for The Agency. He is a clever, calm and collected killer, the best that the agency has to offer. Ales will be offering us a mission per issue as Zero recounts his time spent with The Agency.
The reader is flashbacked into the middle of the battlefield in a Palestinian warzone. Our super-spy assassin protagonist makes his objectives clear. He is to pursue a tech infused Palestinian and extract the tech from the target whilst keeping casualties to a minimum. It is the last part that seems to be the most difficult for Zero, as he tends to complete missions no matter the cost. There is no James Bond pre-planning with our hero, we see him tossed into overwhelming conditions and get to see how he copes with it. Zero seems to be a cynic. He always expects the worst but is more than prepared for it.
The battle between the tech-infused humans is one of the most violent fight scenes that you will read for a while and it spans throughout the majority of the issue. As Zero tells his story you see some of the most brutal action offered in a comic. Action that is not choreographed but animalistic in nature. This is definitely for the mature reader and features hyper violence and graphic sex scenes. Yes, kids will get a full view of what makes a boy a boy and a girl a girl. This opening issue has no intention of holding anything back, setting the tone of what is to expect of this series.
The art is excellent. Michael Walsh’s art is very similar to the current Hawkeye offering by Marvel. But it makes use of some great yellows, tans and browns that immediately teleport the reader to the desert. The details in the panels are kept to a minimum. This is done so that the main focus is placed on the action scenes and it is the action scenes that really draw the reader’s attention. The different locations are presented in different colours as well so you know when and where the other parts of the story are taking place. It is actually quite sad to think that each issue will not only feature a different mission but a different artist as well. Walsh’s art really helped establish the tone of this issue and you can’t help but want to see it on a continual basis.
This is a cracker of an opening issue, one that has everything you would expect of an action title. There is profanity, sex, graphic violence, thrill and suspense and it is all presented to the reader through some great artwork and colouring. As mentioned earlier this is definitely a read for the more mature reader, unless you want to explain the birds and the bees a lot sooner than you expected to. The fact that the next issue will feature a completely different mission is great. This title manages to mix different genres to create great results. The thought that the art will change in the next issue is a bit less re-assuring. If the plot remains as tight and well written as this debut then it would mean Image has just released yet another great title!