Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Marksmen from Image/Benaroya

Marksmen Tpb
Publisher: Image/Benaroya
Writer: Dave Baxter
Artist: Javier Aranda & Garry Leach

From the publisher
“Sixty years ago the oil ran out and debts were called in. Civil war followed that splintered America into warring fiefdoms. New San Diego is a technocratic utopia that offers the last bastion of peace and prosperity, provided you live within its walls. Drake McCoy is its best protector. One of a select group of Marksmen, descended from the Navy Seals, McCoy defends the city from the numerous threats in the wasteland outside the walls. But when the oil rich Lone Star State sends a powerful army to steal New San Diego's energy technology, even the Marksmen's skill may not be enough to fend off the siege.”


If you want an action movie that has some big themes this one has more brewing than I had expected.   The setting is familiar, a post apocalyptic event leaves the world with city states who are in battle for resources.   But the consequences of this story are, on some level, able to show the factions at war in society today.   We see perfectionist utopians versus religionist isolationists fighting for dominance and resources.   However, while we are allowed to see the events through the eyes of New San Diego Marksmen, the results are more gray than black and white.

I wouldn’t say, though, that this is a subtly nuanced story.   There are many questions unasked that should be asked, and many questions left to be answered that are not.   But the dialogue is good, the scenes realistic enough, and there are human emotions on display.   The writing is good on the surface, and only really fades when some of the complexities of such a conflict are shown to fall somewhat flat.   It isn’t easy showing all sides of a question, or asking a question such as does military might, or political will replace moral responsibility and thereby action?   The Marksmen are faced with many threats, and while the questions of the story are large, the action generally takes us on a path we can identify and perhaps predict.   It wasn’t bad, nor poorly done, simply, not a thoroughly complex action story.

I am left feeling that this was certainly good enough.  The art was competent and told the story well.  The writing was good, and it made me think.   While I can’t say the  story made me a great fan, and left me wanting more, I can say that I felt satisfied by the reading, and that is a good feeling.


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