The Warning #1
The Warning #1 is about an alien invasion – Yeah, I know. It’s a fairly common trope in science fiction no matter what the form of the media. It’s also one where the humans seem kind of bi-polar. Humans are either “oh, look how wise and benevolent they are.” or “RAWR! Aliens bad. Shoot them all.” Okay, I’m oversimplifying that but we do indeed seem to have a strict division in terms of the alien invader stories we tell. Probably because something about people from another planet triggers the xenophobia in humans. How we respond to it makes the story.
Edward Laroche’s ‘The Warning #1’ seems to be moving to blend elements of the two extreme human responses in a world that isn’t taking too many risks. The military response to the discovery of an otherworldly structure that is beginning to materialize on Earth is measured and calculated. It’s as if they’ve been expecting this moment.
Writing & Art by Edward Laroche
Synopsis: “An enormous machine slowly materializes in a major West Coast city. Who sent it—and why—is a mystery, understood only by the malevolent beings gliding silently toward Earth through the inky vastness of space. In response, a multinational combat brigade called Gladiator Two-Six is deployed. Outfitted with next-generation military science and weapons, they’re tasked with stopping any extraterrestrial threat that emerges.” ~ Source: Image Comics
No Fluff or Wisecracks
The overall feel of The Warning #1 can best be described as somber, introspective, and foreboding. That doesn’t make it bad. In fact, it makes a lot of sense when you consider that there’s an entire planet moving swiftly through space toward the Earth with unknown intentions.
Whether or not the series will maintain the tone of the first issue is unclear but judging by what we have thus far I’ll bet it does. This comic isn’t prone to wisecracking heroes. We see soldiers, experienced men who’ve seen death more than they wish, men of quiet confidence. The closest thing to a joke here is a flipped bird and a momentary smirk.
As invisible guests of the narrator, we watch as his team, an elite unit under the name Gladiator Two-Six, are prepped. They are outfitted with the latest weaponry. They sit stoically as they are poked and prodded and their health is assessed. We watch as they are pumped up with combat-enhancing drugs and monitored to ensure those drugs are doing their job. Then these men dive headfirst into the unknown, without a clue of what to expect. They are simply there to do a job.
I’d count the tone of The Warning #1 in its favor. It’s part of what draws me to this series. I like it. The story is heavy on the military themes and the grim determination of those who commit their lives to protect their county. It gives the story a cinematic quality that works well with the narration.
The Soldier and the Bee
The narrator of ‘The Warning #1’ doesn’t have a name or a back story, or rather, we haven’t learned it yet. We do get a very solid sense of this man based on his inner monologue, which takes the form of a silent conversation with a tiny bee. The bee doesn’t respond, but the introspective and almost gentle way the soldier carries the conversation tells us more about the man than any info-dumpy back story I’ve ever read. Our unknown solider appears to be on the verge of deployment and here he stands postulating whether or not this bee could have been somebody in a past life. He wonders if that bee thought of itself as a good person, if maybe he knew the bee at one time, and what their relationship might have been.
Where It Started
Sandwiched between the starting narration and the finishing narration of our unknown soldier we learn where this all began. We see how a scientific anomaly became a full blown national security issue. This sets up the story nicely. A canceled project suddenly uncanceled. We meet the stressed out Dr. Freya Lin as she receives orders to get her lab up and running in forty-eight hours with actionable results demanded in sixty days. No pressure. We’re privy to Colonel Sandri’s rain-soaked, late-night visit to Razorback operating base. We hear Dr. Zayvian as he explains the event that precipitated our unknown soldier’s deployment.
As we come back to the present, the inner monologue of our narrator continues through the prep and deployment of himself and his team. His rumination hints at the possibility that he feels like he’s sacrificed some humanity, that he’s done things he might not be proud of but that he doesn’t actually regret. His soul searching ultimately culminates in his realization that everyone is on some level a good person, even him. The Warning #1 wraps on both a positive note and a tense cliffhanger. Our narrator has accepted and come to terms with who he is and what he does even as he dives to fight an unknown enemy. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next issue.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation: Mature Readers (18 and older). The Warning #1 deals with adult themes. Drug use is depicted and there is some strong language.
Next Issue: December 19, 2018