The End of Nations comic series, Episode 0 review

This past Thursday, the 8th of December, gave us End of Nations fans the second “Warfront” video (view it here) which talks both about the scale of the game, and the End of Nations comic.

The comic’s introductory episode, Episode #0, is available for free online (here). It was released on November 18th with so little fanfare that I didn’t even notice it until it was mentioned in Warfront #2. When it was brought up in the video, I decided to give it a quick look, and share my impressions with the Internet At Large (that’s you).

Ok, so, impressions of the comic. First off, it’s awesome that it’s both free, and available online. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’m just old enough to not expect everything to be readable on the web (or my phone). However, I’m young enough to not really remember comic shops, and maybe not quite nerdy enough to seek one out. Thankfully, my phone has a DC comics app available, so a quick download later, and I was enjoying my first digital graphic novel.

I really enjoy the art style chosen for the End of Nations comic series. I’m not familiar enough with what’s in vogue in graphic novel art these days to comment on Yvel Guichet’s work in a critical context, but I think the art reinforces the semi-gritty but exxagerated feel that Trion and Petroglyph seem to be going for with End of Nations.

The reading experience on Windows Phone and online is acceptable to me. I think that some people might mind it, but I’m certainly not one of them. Comic book purists may want to track down a copy in-store and avoid the UI and the need to zoom in to read some texts, but they would probably do that no matter what I told them.

I also enjoy the color work, but I’m an avid tinkerer in Photoshop coloring of hand-drawn imagery. I enjoy the various and sundry glow effects they managed to work onto almost every panel of the story. Also interesting to me: they kept a very thoughtful yellowish color palette consistent throughout the comic, letting the most intense color splash across characters and environments as reflected light or firey incandescence.

The story however…

It starts off well, in my unprofessional opinion. The opening page of End of Nations #0 tell us in concise manner the slightly Command and Conquerish background of the fictional world we are all looking forward to participating in. This alone, in my opinion, is reason enough to read this book. We can see firsthand the trajedy that precipitated the events of the game.

But the rest of the comic… in my opinion, it’s too short. Sorry Ricardo Sanchez: I’m sure you don’t like hobbyist writers who haven’t written a paragraph of published fiction in their lives critique you, but I’m pretty disappointed in the writing.

Without giving too much away, the main story is a window into the struggles of the Average (post)American as they attempt to use their dwindling resources to defend hearth and home. Then, much too quickly, the Order of Nations steps in and… well, just read it. I don’t want to give everything away.

We get, in 23 short pages, to see much of the basis of conflict that we’ll experience in our first few hours of our gameplay (I’m sure). Raiding parties, the Order, even the Shadow Revolution makes a token appearance. The comic is so rushed that, obtuse as I am, I had to read the first 9 pages 2 times to get the gist of the plot.

Once I got past that, it was clear enough, but there’s enough potential story here to cover at least 2 books this size (that is, around 40 or 50 pages). The storied trajedies we’re being asked to care about in the novel are almost glossed over here, a rush to give exposition that I think could have been handled much better.

That said, it is a free comic, and does provide the EoN fan some insight into (as I mentioned a moment ago) what the early missions in the game might be, and some further glimpse of the savageness and weapons capabilities of the Order. Again, this alone makes the book worth the read. But don’t be fooled, few of you will find the story alone worthwhile. Especially big fans of comic books, and the slightly paranoid who see this as more of a marketing tool than a series worthy of following.

However, I’m an eternal optimist, and I’ll be laying down the measly entry fee of $2.99 to read the next installment, as well. My hope is, the paid content will be more worthwhile than the free comic. Or, that the author will have gotten the intro out of the way, and will be further developing the story we see nascent in Episode 0. Or, at the very least, that we’ll have more images of vehicles and superweapons that we can peruse and speculate over.

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3 Comments on “The End of Nations comic series, Episode 0 review

  1. Pingback: End of Nations, Comic #2 – Friend and Foe « Codex Proelium

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