Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Activity #9

Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Mitch Gerads

Every month, I feel the need to comment on the fact that I like this book, mostly because with every issue, some if the title's flaws get in the way of my full enjoyment of the comic.  I wish this series could fix its problems, because I believe that a terrific comic is hidden in here.

This issue, the team is sent to Somalia to help a British SAS group rescue a British national who is being held by a warlord.  We meet the British team, and one of them shares some awkward flirting with Fiddler.  The mission is put into jeopardy when American missile support moves up their timeline.  Meanwhile, Stateside, plans are made to test the team to make sure that no one has compromised themselves, in the light of some recent mistakes.

The writing is taut, and the pacing very good.  The problem is that, nine issues in, it's still hard to care about these characters, because they haven't been very developed.  I know that's part of this book's shtick - that these people are so dedicated to their job and servicing their country that they don't have personal lives - but it leads to a lack of emotional investment on my part.

The other big problem with this issue is the art.  Mitch Gerads, the usual series artist, switches up his style this issue, giving us a sketchier, more messy style.  It works with the subject matter, but it makes it even more difficult to tell who is who, especially when the action switches from the usual team to the British one.  I'm all for artists experimenting with their style, but storytelling should still come first.

The Activity is a good comic, and Edmondson is writing it intelligently, by allowing the on-going story of what's happening at command levels to build with each issue, while still spotlighting the mission.  There are things that need to be fixed though.

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