Title: SHRAPNEL: ARISTEIA RISING #5
Publisher Name: Radical Comics
Writer: M. ZACHARY SHERMAN
Art: BAGUS HUTOMO
$2.99, 52 pages, Color
Safety Content Label: PARENTAL ADVISORY - 15 years and older. Similar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery.
The planet-shattering conclusion! The war for galactic freedom reaches its final moments as the Alliance Marines storm through the militia's resistance. Faced with imminent defeat, Sam realizes that their only hope lies with the one person who understands the Marines well enough to destroy them utterly: herself.
I hadn't read the first four issues of SHRAPNEL: ARISTEIA RISING when I was assigned to review this, the 5th and final issue. And unfortunately I wasn't able to get a hold of those in time to read them before I read this one, so I'm not completely sure of the story so far in comparison to what I just read here.
What I do know is that after reading this, I absolutely, positively must get the rest of this series and I must read it NOW!
The first thing I have to say is that this is one beautiful book, from the cover to the final panel. I've always been a fan of that gritty almost painted looking artwork (and maybe this is painted, there's an artist and colorist listed in the credits, so I'm not sure) and this delivers everything I love about it.
There's so much style here, from the character and vehicle design to the panel layouts and effects, this goes beyond "comic" and into the realm of true art. I could stare at some of the pages all day and not get tired of them. I've even gone to the Radical website and downloaded the wallpapers they have available for my desktop background.
I did some searching for artist Bagus Hutomo and the only work I've found credited is this Sharpnel series. If he's done anything else I want to find, and if not, well then people need to give him some more work.
And I can't forget to mention colorist Leos "Okita" Ng. The colors really help make the art what it is, with perfect choice of tones to make you feel like you're right down in the middle of this brutal warfare.
There wasn't a lot of story going on plot wise, but this is the final issue so I'm guessing that I just missed all the build up to this grand finale. The action is non-stop, tense, and exciting. Without any prior knowledge of what was going on I was hooked until the end to find out where it was going.
At 52 pages for only $2.99, this book is packed full of quantity and quality and is definitely worth picking up. There are 2 more Shrapnel miniseries set to follow this one, and I'll be eagerly awaiting them.
And now I'm off to find issues 1-4!