We have a strange machine materializing in a major metropolitan city. The only lead as to what’s causing it appears to be a mass in space hurtling toward Earth. So begins The Warning #1, the opening chapter in new series from Image Comics.
Creator Edward Laroche gives readers a shot of high-tech military sci-fi with his new series, and the book offers an interesting premise. However, this first issue doesn’t do as much as you might like try and establish it.
This book feels like it is the opening to a much broader, epic-scale story. A lot of the dialog is military jargon, but it is mostly tight and believable. That said, it’s hard to judge The Warning #1 as a single work, as it doesn’t provide a cohesive narrative. Instead, the book feels like a sequence of different opening scenes.
Laroche dedicates the first half of the book to a character meditating on an insect before hopping on a plane to engage in a military operation. We then jump into two other shards of the narrative, without ever establishing who our first character was. This leaves the reader without crucial details and why we should care about them.
That lack of established motivation and pathos is a theme throughout the book. We’re jumping back and forth between different points in time without establishing the fundamentals of the story. It feels as though the writer is putting the horse before the cart by pushing the scope of the story before really giving us any foundation.
Laroche pulls double-duty as writer and artist for The Warning #1, and the artwork is the stronger element here. Each panel is intricately detailed, giving the reader some genuinely beautiful images throughout.
The art manages to convey story elements, character attributes, and tone with more effect than the dialog in some cases. Jargon-laced scenes of military operations and tech are sharp and tightly-framed, while the more human moments are given a softer focus. Many of these panels will simply hang on a striking image and allow the artwork a moment to breathe.
Color work on The Warning #1 is provided by Brad Simpson, who does an excellent job of conveying tone as well. Greens and dark backgrounds dominate the techie, military panels, while brilliant yellow tones bathe the quieter moments.
The Warning #1 is an intriguing opening chapter. The writing falls flat on certain key points, but the artwork is a treat throughout.