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Carbon Grey #1 – Advanced Review

Carbon Grey comes across like the younger sister of “The Red
Star”, but has the character design and cast of any cell shaded fighting video
game. This comic is what I’d call a “concept book”, meaning the ideas and the
characters are all very cool and unique, but the story is there to get our characters
into the scenes of action desired by the creators. As it is this is just an average
comic from Image that falls into all the same trappings as a creator owned book
with no clear editor involved.

The book opens with a man’s head shot off and beautiful
woman with blonde hair and smoking gun standing before him. She is Giselle one
of the Sister’s Grey and she’s just killed the Kaiser the leader of a nation
who some believe to be a God. Now she must escape the blimp that she is on, by
shooting and cutting her way through the Kaiser’s men. She manages to do so and
falls out of the exploding blimp and landing in a pool of dead men and blood.
She lands in the middle of a battle field and must keep moving. It’s not 100%
clear which side of the war she’s on since the countries are never listed, but
she does help one soldier that has a knife stabbed through his hand and working its way
to his throat.

Carbon Grey 1A CoverAnother Sister Grey, whose name I could only guess is
Mathilde is at a gentlemen’s club in disguise to seduce a Captain with
level five clearances. After a night of… sex, she goes to steal the Captain’s
wallet only discover that he’s not who he says he is. It turns out the Captain
is dead and the man is really a spy. Word of the Kaiser’s death reaches the third Sister
Grey (although there are four) and again, who knows what her name is. A
Chancellor informs her that they found a very unique bullet that only Giselle
uses at the scene. The third Sister Grey hushes this news by killing everyone
in her presence. At the end of the issue a General picks up the head of the
Chancellor and sees his murder through his own eyes. The issue then ends with
him calling for the arrest of the Sisters Grey.

The story for this issue is confusing. I was told there were
four sisters and only introduced to three. One of them changes hair color while
bathing in blood… or that could have been the fourth sister which would make less sense. I have no idea why
one of them was stealing security clearance and why she’s the only one not
carrying a sword or a gun. Also I hate the cliché notion that government
trained female killing machines will sleep with any man to get the information
they want it’s disgusting and makes me loose all respect for the character and does nothing to include female readers. If the other sisters are so bad ass why did the third not just
stroll in and kill him and take what she needed. That’s what the other two did
so what sets her apart? The narration and poems throughout the issue were a
nice touch and actually made the scenes powerful, but when the dialog started
it took all that away. Also the beginning narration walks us though the history
of the Sisters Grey, but does little to explain why one of them has suddenly
killed the Kaiser that’s sullied their family name.

Carbon Grey 1B CoverThe art is great and frankly you would hardly know that
three people were drawing it. The character designs are very cool, the women
look beautiful and have awesome costumes and even the men have unique and cool
costumes as well. The entire look of the book is great down to the blimps, the vehicles
the uniforms of the soldiers it all looks cool. The cast of characters and
their unique costumes make them look like something out of BlazBlue or SNK with
guns and swords. Just upon seeing the characters you would want to read this book that’s how powerful the art is.

Basically this book looks great; it has an awesome set of
characters with very cool costumes. Even the world in which everything is set
is cool, but the story doesn’t make any sense and it leaves the reader left out
in the dark hoping more is explained in the next issue. This book may have
worked at Image ten maybe even five years ago, but now comics have to have a
strong story and it’s clear that the four people writing this book are more of
concept creators. I understand that that a lot of artist have great ideas and
want to tell their story that they’ve been putting their blood sweat and tears
into, but at some point you have to let some else craft the story or you end up
with a mess. The total count for this book is four writers and three artist with a total of five people making this book and it’s just too many hands on the page.

Story – 5.0
Plot – 4.5
Art – 8.5
Character Design – 9.0
Overall – 6.7


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