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‘Hardcore #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Hardcore is the Evangelion of piloting real human people. Agent Drake is a morally inept human flesh-Gundam rider who specializes in not caring about ethics. His job is simple: Posses other human beings by way of advanced technology to assassinate foreign enemies. The story starts there but goes places, making it an excellent pilot with a promising future. The only issue would be whether or not the aesthetic and tone work for you.

Originally, this was a pilot issue written by Robert Kirkman and drawn by Brian Stelfreeze. Though this original piece never developed into a series proper, this new version of Hardcore basically hits all of the same beats of the original pilot. The original art is a little more pleasing, and the script was a little less . . . hardcore? The art of Harcore (2018) isn’t bad, but it’s not a stand out, unless you’re talking about its interpretation of water. Check out the water in the image below. It’s wild:

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It seems like everything from the name of this comic to the conceit of the story is pretty aggro. I’m particularly thinking of the hyper-violent 2015 sci-fi thriller, Hardcore Henry, for reference. It’s like FUN violence that feels more fantastical than regular, grounded violence. The premise deflates any concern for casualties, but that kind of deflates the stakes a bit, too. These are not necessarily critiques, but more just observations.

Personally, I will be checking in with Hardcore a few issues down the road. I want to hear more of what the creators are doing to either SUBVERT or LEAN IN to this ruckus-y, bullet-filled, mayhemic adrenaline frenzy. If it continues to be that and only that, it might be worth mentioning that we already have enough comic books like this and don’t need anymore. But, Kirkman’s a smart guy, and the industry seems pretty tuned into the temperature of modern readers. Image Comics, in particular, usually releases progressive and interesting titles. Likely, Hardcore will prove to be more than just your frat brothers’ comic book of the year, but will it be your frat sisters’ pick? It’s hard to tell.

This is the perfect holiday read for anyone who hates the holidays and prefers carnage instead. Oh, and check out the original for reference. This is a rare opportunity to see how different creators interpret the same story.

Creative Team: Andy Diggle (writer), Alessandro Vitti (art), Adriano Lucas (color)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.
Click here to purchase the original.

Jeremy Schmidt, Fanbase Press Contributor



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