Brilliant Art and Imagery with Engaging, Action-Packed Story; HARDCORE #1 Review
Created by Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri
Written by Andy Diggle
Drawn by Alessandro Vitti
Colours Adriano Lucas
Lettering Thomas Mauer
Published by Image Comics
Hardcore is a gritty action/sci-fi adventure series following the exploits of Agent Drake, a gifted assassin who, using an advanced technology owned by a highly-secretive organisation, can turn any person on the planet into a living drone which he pilots from a remote location. During Drake’s latest mission, the operation is hijacked, locking him inside his current “drone” with only 72 hours to find those responsible, and to save his own life, before the connection to this host degrades beyond repair… along with his own mind.
I picked up Hardcore knowing almost nothing about it, except for who was behind it. Kirkman and Silvestri both frequently deliver well-told tales, and that was enough to convince me to try their latest comic series. I’ve got to say, I was not disappointed at all. “Hardcore” is a most apt title for this one. It’s nowhere near gratuitous at any point. It’s just fast, and hard-hitting, and the violence in the story feels very real, and engaging. The comic consistently moves without a stutter, giving just enough of each character to intrigue and allow the reader to invest enough to feel the motives of those involved without giving away too much, too soon. I quickly felt a connection to our protagonist, and any risk to this character really comes forth, making sure you really are behind Drake, and making the story very much “edge of your seat” action.
The artwork throughout is incredibly enjoyable. Vivid colours against bold shading and inks. Always a great contrast, and you really feel the heat and motion within each panel. Alessandro Vitti offers some incredible drawings throughout this first issue, and the wonderfully bold inks are backed up perfectly by Adriano Lucas’ colours. Throughout the entire comic, I was reminded a lot of Frank Miller, and Adam Kubert coming through. Just constantly needing to pore over every panel, and truly enjoy the artwork therein. Every detail of every machine and structure, meticulously drawn and shaded. Each character having a very believable weight and heft in the images. My only criticism would be of the artists portrayal of blood. Whilst I do think the artist was after a particular styling, the blood from wounds always looked more like shards of red glass, strewn across the image. It’s very striking, but it does leave you at first unsure of what you’re seeing. Overall, I was definitely a fan by the end of this first issue, and can’t wait to see the artwork further on, as the story develops.
Hardcore #1 has me sold. I enjoyed everything about this comic, and I honestly cannot wait to dive into the next one. The art and storytelling are second to none, and fans of fast-paced action or dark, inventive thrillers, will not be left disappointed. It ticked all the boxes, and felt like one of those big, elaborate stories, which are rare to find in a first issue. If I were to recommend you pick up any new series this year, Hardcore would definitely be it.
A brand new series. Brilliant art and imagery and engaging, action-packed story. Hardcore is one that definitely shouldn’t be missed.
Fantastic, sci-fi/action with brilliant visuals.