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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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