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Tracker Vol. 1 – Review

Tracker is a new comic series being published by Top Cow. The series is written by Jonathan Lincoln (who is a new writer), with Francis Tsai (Marvel Adventures: Spider-man) on line-work and colours. Letters by Troy Peteri (Witchblade). Derec Donovan (Youngblood) doing line-work on issue 4. Issue 5 had Abishek Malsuni on line-work and Shashank Mishra doing colours.

The first issue "Survivor", starts with a woman having been called to a crash site. She states being an FBI agent this is below her, only to be shown that inside the entire bus is painted in blood, guts and limbs. Her name is Jezebel Kendall and she finds a survivor on the bus who turns out to be her partner, Alex O'Roarke. After his recovery he finds he has above normal strength,speed and hearing.Tracker Issue 2

With the second issue "Face of a Killer", Alex awakens from what seemed like a dream and a man claiming to have been a doctor in the first issue claims to have "saved" him. In this story it is revealed there is a secret agency that has been keeping tabs on lupine activity around the globe for decades. Tension rises between Alex and his girlfriend as Alex believes he can find his would be killer.

The third issue "Sire", escalates the action, drama and mystery. A severed head is delivered on Alex's doorstep and when Alex and Jezebel believe they have another lead they find a gruesome clue that reveals how twisted the killer "Herod" can be. On top of that there have been similar murders on record since the 1940s. When Alex decides to take on the doctor up on his offer of assistance he learns of a cure for his lupine curse.

In the fourth issue "Watcher", with the help of the doctor, Alex remembers the face of Herod. He deducts that with Herod needing lupine blood and being in a weakened state he will go after a child. All the while keeping his secret from Jezebel and Tory. With the help of a S.W.A.T agent Grant and his team they lay a trap for Herod, only for things to turn sour and Tory thought to be killed.

The fifth issue is titled "Rogue". In this issue the arc dives headfirst into a happy ending. Being taken off the case with Tory's apparent death Alex decides to take things into his own hands. Alex is told Herod will give Tory in exchange for the child from the previous issue. Alex must decide the life of a child or the life of his loved one. Alex breaks into HQ, takes the child and confronts Herod with a bloody battle. Grant and his S.W.A.T team interfere and Alex's secret is found out by everyone.

Within these five issues, Jonathan Lincoln has easily proved himself to be a confident and talented writer. Lincoln has shown that he knows exactly what he wanted and how to execute this story.

Tracker Volume 1The first issue in this series was quite fast paced, a lot faster than any other first issue I have ever read and it works very well for this issue. Lincoln grabs the elements of what is needed in a story; relationships, drama, action/violence and mystery and literally hurls them at the face of the reader. Each issue from then on continues to escalate each of these elements and barely takes time to slow anything down at all until the end. Lincoln does not lose himself or drown the readers with super fine details but instead lays it all out on the table to be eaten up. The characters and their interactions with each other was also well written. Though with slight stereotypes, these characters read as real people and a feeling for them will develop.

The artwork in these comics is simple but sweet. Basic lining with a bit of detail where needed and never done in excess. Francis Tsai continues to use his water-based colouring as seen in his work on Marvel Adventures: Spider-man. Sometimes within the lines he is a little messy, but this all just adds to his artistic style. The colours are often bright even when in shadows.

With issue five, the artist for the line-work and the colouring changed. One thing that bothered me with this issue was that with the change of artists brings a change of style. Some of the characters were redesigned with the most notable change being that of Jezebel Kendall. The colouring was changed to match the style and was no longer painted but more digital filling. The line-work was no longer so basic either, adding in a lot more detail. Not that these are necessarily bad techniques, but I felt that the artwork in the first four issues was much more desirable.

All in all, I believe that "Tracker" was a great read and that if you love a fast paced, action filled dramatic mystery filled with violence then these comics are definitely for you. I hope they continue this series.

Story: 8.5

Plot: 8.5

Line-work: 8.0

Colours: 8.5

Total: 8.5



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