There is a lot of The X-Files going on in the first issue of Rainmaker, mixed in with a judicious (yet very Canadian) amount of Predator. Captain Rainmaker is a bada$$'s bada$$, and he gets called to Afghanistan to investigate some very weird disappearances. Without much to go on, it seems he'll be on his own, trying to untangle and wrangle whatever kind of ethereal critter they've got mucking about in a war zone.
This first issue comes in two parts: a prologue and the story proper. The prologue is built as a cold open, giving us an intro to some sort of creature, and the way that it wreaks havoc on an innocent who then falls into the laps of terrible men. The second half gives us the intro to our true story and does so with a deliberate and steady pace. This issue is more about the world building than anything; we're granted a look inside of the character's relationships almost as much as the mystery at hand. Capt. Rainmaker seems to be the OP Rambo-style character, his quiet expertise leading all the others to stumble and buck before him while he calmly takes charge of the situation. There's not a lot of this issue that stands outside of tropes, but it's only the first one and the methods in which the story is unfolded are well worth the read. It's solid storytelling that ought to be checked out.
The visual style was a bit jarring to me, built on a photo-realistic aesthetic but with character profiles that almost become cartoonish. I couldn't help thinking of South Park animation when they use actual images for famous characters. The blurring of the realism lends a mystique to the book and allows for the eye to play tricks on the reader's mind, keeping them off balance as they work through the plot. There is one great, gory splash page that will take you by surprise, and it's all predicated on the atmospheric feel and the tension in both art and story to that point.
I really dig this idea; it feels as if Billy from Predator was on the hunt alone, and that stoic certainty of action and dedication makes for a great character to root for. I like the method of weird that the creative team is grooving with, and as with any monster book worth its salt, I already want more.
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Creative Team: David William Daniel Thomas (Writer), Raymond West (Art & Lettering Prologue, Art Written in the Wind), Daerick Gross Sr. (Lettering & Art Direction Written in the Wind)
Publisher: Markosia Enterprises
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