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Cyclops #1 – Review

Short Version

UN conflicts have become too expensive, forcing the UN to contract conflicts out to corporate military companies. The catch is that anywhere these groups go their actions are filmed and broadcasted back to American TV audiences. The bigger the conflict, the better the ratings.

Long Version

If one thing holds true throughout time, it is that war is always grim and devoid a happy ending. Simply stated the UN no longer has the resources to support countries during conflicts and passes a bill put forth by Russia and backed by the USA to contract out peace-keeping conflicts to private military companies. These private military corporations are essentially the mercenaries of the new era, but instead of just working for the highest bidder they are now sanctioned by the UN.

Cyclops 1 Cover - Archaia PressDouglas Pistoia is an out of work ex-pro athlete that applies for Multicorps Securita Inc. the first company to win the bid from the UN. Pistoia is a young man with a bright future, but he’s unable to secure a job in the shaky and over-saturated business market. His young wife is very hesitant for him to even interview for the job and even more so when he makes it to the second interview, which turns out to be boot-camp.

Pistoia is of high interest to the company as they view his natural leadership skills, personality and look to be a prime candidate for officer and the face of the next American hero. He’s of such high interest that the company assigns him a secret care-taker to make sure Pistoia makes it through his first conflict and doesn’t die on camera.

This is definitely the future of military, as the company spends a ton of money on active-camo suits that allow them to blend into any background. Their guns are of the highest precision and are unlike anything scene in sci-fi/war comics before. The biggest thing about their uniforms is the helmet though. Each helmet has a built in camera that is constantly transmitting their actions back to the US for broadcast. This not only makes sure they are acting appropriately, but it broadcasts the War for violence hunger TV audiences.

From the first three pages you can tell that Matz (The Killer) has a very political agenda for this series. It’s not about war, it’s about how people perceive war and the desensitization of the soldiers fighting the war. Really the book is one big gut punch to the US Military and the rising popularity of private military groups which could very well become the norm in the future.

Matz and artist Luc Jacamon (The Killer) team up again to bring a visually beautiful world that is about to be torn apart by war. Truly their vision of the future is one of high tech gadgets and devices that make life easy to live. Yet there is still war, because that is human nature.

Not much can be said about the art. Either you’re going to love the style that Luc has developed since working on “The Killer” or you’re going to be put off by it since it looks nothing like typical American comic art. Personally, I really enjoyed the style and find it refreshing in the world of comics today.

I truly believe that all good comics have two ways to read them. One is at face value, in which the reader takes in only what the story is actually telling you. In this case it’s the future, there is war and the world is watching it. Then there’s the deeper story of the comparison to the US Military (or all Militaries for the mater), the corporate agendas, the TV broadcasts and the deeper social commentary that the reader can pick up on. It really just depends on what you take in as you read it. Some people will read it and think, “Wow, cool Sci-fi military just like Starship Troopers but without the bugs!” or they could honestly be offended by the material presented in the book. So be warned it’s not for the faint of heart, but if you have an open mind then you’ll be in store for a great comic.

Overall Score - 9.3/10




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