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‘Replicator #2:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Last year, Robert Arnold successfully crowdfunded the first two issues of Replicator, a series that he created and wrote. Replicator is a future-noir crime drama liberally seasoned with corporate intrigue. In the first issue, the story focused on border patroller Ryker Jones and his wife Sarah, a scientist, who has discovered a cure for a virus outbreak known as the Red Death. Things go awry and in the second issue, and the story shifts to a military battle with mechs and the introduction of a new character. The latter half of the issue rejoins with Ryker and Sarah.

Replicator is an intriguing story. The near-future timeframe invites readers to relate to familiar political structures and policies, such as martial law. In Arnold’s story, it is a policy that doesn’t work given the wide-spread devastation of the Red Death. He adds into the mix a militant element that has secret advanced technology. They are also responsible for setting up a sanctuary for survivors from the privileged class, as well as those individuals that can offer some skill that would be useful to the sanctuary. The second issue expands on the storylines established in the first; however, the battle in the second issue could have used a little more setup. The continuation of Ryker and Sarah’s storyline was better connected. Editing duties fell to Stephen Kok and Nick Macari for this issue, and overall series edits were handled by Nick Glenister.

The visuals are different in the second issue, and that is due to a complete overhaul of the rest of the creative team that joined Arnold. The change-up resulted in a stronger visual presence. Aaron Alfeche took point with penciling and inking duties, as well as creating the cover. He brought depth and definition to the characters through shading and textures. Special mention has to be made about his wraparound variant cover titled “River of Corpses” that is nicely executed. DC Alonso brought a color palette of blues and greens to convey the nighttime setting and mech battle that dominated the majority of this issue; the choices allow Alonso’s lighter colors to pop off the page and created a sense of balance. Marshall Dillon’s lettering is on point: clean, easy to read, balanced within the speech balloons, and stays out of the way of the action unfolding in each panel.

While there are minor story issues, the change in creative teaming can often upset the visual tone of a series, sometimes enough to lose readers; however, in this instance, the team for this issue created a stronger visual presence, particularly the art style that Alfeche brought to the table. One hopes that Arnold’s team is now in place for carrying on with the rest of the series and that the third issue will come sooner than later.

Creative Team: Robert Arnold (writer), Aaron Alfeche (pencils/inks and cover), DC Alonso (colors), Marshall Dillon (letters), Stephen Kok and Nick Macari (editors), Nick Glenister (series editor)
Publisher: Robert Arnold
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Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor



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