Dynamite’s Crackdown–The collected Xbox tie-in arrives in comic shops this month

Review by C.J. Bunce

They’re outnumbered and outgunned.

Last year Halo, Destiny, and Crackdown game writer and Spawn comic book writer Jonathan Goff created a comics mini-series last based on Xbox′s Crackdown 3 (previewed here at borg).  A military science fiction-action series not requiring readers to know the game, it featured some nicely rendered futurism from artist Ricardo Jaime (The Shadow).  Goff and Jaime created a future world ruled by a corporate power elite, and a city sitting on a powder keg of class warfare ready to blow.  Then the lights go out.  Literally.  Someone has taken control of power sources everywhere.  Dynamite’s Crackdown is heading to a comic shop near you next week in a complete trade paperback edition so fans of the game and sci-fi can join in on the action.

When four major gangs stop fighting each other to upend the law, it′s up to The Agents to defend the city.  The Agents are part Colonial Marines, part CIA Special Ops, gung-ho, cocky, and over-confident.  They are led by a Guy in the Chair giving commands called the Voice of the Agency.  With heroes and villains newly created for the comic, they still interact in the common backdrop of the game environment, a mega-city also new to the franchise called San Reno.  It’s part Demolition Man, part Judge Dredd, with some Escape from New York and Assault on Precinct 13 thrown in for good measure.

The female character designs are highlights of the book in contrast with the expected male grunt types–they are particularly well-drawn and distinguishable, but this story could have used a visual cast of characters upfront for readers to keep track of character names.  This is more action than story, so that’s probably not the point anyway.  Colorist Natália Marques keeps the Tron-inspired, futuristic color canvas for all four chapters, making every page a visual treat.  It’s a bit animated G.I. Joe, but close to the game environment as you might expect.  Note: The cops vs gangs narrative and language is for mature readers.

Here is a look inside the first chapter of Crackdown:

Look for the trade edition of Crackdown at Elite Comics or your own local comic book store July 29, or here at Amazon, scheduled to ship August 11.


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